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Is that a Teal Pumpkin on Your Neighbor’s Doorstep?

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Fall has arrived and with it comes the crisp air, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin patches and shopping for your little ones’ Halloween costumes.  For kids with food allergies, sometimes the fun in trick-or-treating is really about the costumes and not the candy.

However, the non-profit group Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) hopes to make an impact nationwide on Halloween with its second annual Teal Pumpkin Project.  For parents of children with food allergies this could mean changing the experience entirely, especially when neighbors work together to make their neighborhood allergen-safe.  So how does it work?

  • Neighbors paint at least one pumpkin the color teal and keep it visible for trick-or-treaters
  • Parents and kids can better navigate doorsteps by knowing the teal pumpkin means their neighbors have food allergy-friendly alternatives 

Facts on Food Allergies

Food allergies affect an estimated 4%–6% of children in the United States(1, 2).  

Babies and children are more prone to food allergies, although adults can also develop allergies later on.

About 90% of all serious allergic reactions in the United States come from these foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts.

Allergy-Friendly Treats

If you’re not sure which candies are off-limits take a look at this Halloween Candy Ingredient Guide 2015 for Gluten & Food Allergies.

Allergy-Friendly-Halloween-Treats-Torie-and-Howard-Organic-Hard-CandyThe following is just a short list of examples for allergy-friendly Halloween treats that you can offer this year: 

*Most of these candies are free of all allergens but always be mindful to read labels.


How Can You Take Part?

  • Buy this paint on Amazon or go to Home Depot or Michael’s craft store to find teal acrylic paint and a brush.  If your child is old enough, have them paint the pumpkin and teach them about the Teal Pumpkin Project
  • Join 100,000 households pledging to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Projectâ„¢ – Take the Pledge – share it on Facebook!
  • Buy allergen-free candy and keep them in a separate bowl from the rest of your candy
  • Tell your neighbors about the Teal Pumpkin Project and share any leftover paint with them so they can easily take part.  Share the names of the treats listed above (or share this blog post)

Other Fun Giveaway Ideas

You could also give away Halloween stickers, Halloween tattoos, Halloween pencils, or a fun favorite – non-toxic Halloween slime!

teal pumpkin food allergy






  1. Branum AM, Lukacs SL. Food allergy among U.S. children: trends in prevalence and hospitalizations. NCHS Data Brief. 2008;10:1-8.
  2. Liu AH, Jaramillo R, Sicherer SH, et al. National prevalence and risk factors for food allergy and relationship to asthma: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(4):798-806.e13.

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