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Teal Pumpkin Project and Healthier Halloween Treats

Oct 08, 2019

Teal Pumpkin Project and Healthier Halloween Treats

By Taylor Willhite, Dietetic Intern

In recent years, you may have noticed an increase in the number of teal-colored pumpkins, but you may be unaware of the important meaning behind them. A teal pumpkin is used to indicate to trick-or-treaters that the house offers non-food items. This has gained popularity from the Teal Pumpkin Project®, which aims to raise awareness of food allergies and encourages people to participate by placing a teal pumpkin in front of their home and offering non-food items. This provides an alternative for children with food allergies or those that are not able to consume candy, promoting inclusion for all trick-or-treaters. So why teal? Teal is the color of food allergy awareness and has been used for many years to raise awareness of this medical condition. 

With roughly one in 13 children having a food allergy, there is a need for non-food Halloween treats for these children. If you are interested in participating, paint a pumpkin teal (or buy one) and place it in front of your home. If you still want to pass out candy as well as the non-food item, be sure to do so safely by keeping the candy and non-food treats in separate bowls. Many traditional Halloween candies contain at least one allergen, which presents an issue for children with food allergies. By simply asking trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies or giving the choice to each visitor, you can provide them with a treat that they can safely enjoy. 

If you are unsure of what to buy for a non-food Halloween treat, check out your local dollar stores, party supply shops, or online to look at some options. There are many low-cost items available that work great as a non-food Halloween treat. While most non-food items work perfect, be careful of moldable clay, which can contain wheat. Listed below are a few ideas to help you get started! 

Halloween Erasers
Glow Bracelets
Bouncy Balls
Vampire Fangs
Spider Rings

Alternatively, if you are interested in some healthier Halloween treat ideas, there are a variety of options to choose from. These would work great in addition to non-food items if you are wanting to offer both food and non-food Halloween treat options. Please note that these healthy Halloween treats are not necessarily allergen-free but are meant to serve as a healthier alternative to popular Halloween candy. While handing out popular Halloween candy is perfectly alright, many children will receive plenty that they can consume in moderation. Providing some healthier options allows for the children to have more nutritious options in addition to their other Halloween treats. Check out the list below for a few healthy Halloween treat ideas!

Clementines (Try drawing a jack-o’-lantern face on them with a sharpie!)
Mini Bags of Popcorn
100% Juice Boxes
Mini Pretzel Packets
Mini Boxes of Raisins