A new push to address food allergies has some people putting teal pumpkins out for Halloween. In an effort to address parental concerns in regards to food allergies, an organization dedicated to researching food allergies is advocating a new approach to Halloween trick or treating. The Teal Pumpkin Project is an online campaign to get people who will be offering non-food items such as toys, crayons or stickers for Halloween to put teal pumpkins outside their doors.
If individuals handing out treats want to take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project, they are encouraged to paint a pumpkin teal and place it outside their door for Halloween. The other recommended option allows for people to print a flier from the Food Allergy Research & Education website. The flier has a teal pumpkin with a message that the house is offering non-food treats. FARE has previously offered this program but this year is the first time that the program is being discussed on a national level. Since the project went national there have been more than 31,000 shares on Facebook alone.
The FARE website offers suggestions for people who want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project but do not know what to use. Some ideas offered by the site include bubbles, crayons, whistles and other toys. The website also gives suggestions on where to purchase the items including a link through amazon that allows people to purchase items that will also give a donation to the FARE project. The organizers of the project hope that this raises awareness in local neighborhoods and becomes a yearly occurrence.
The FARE organizers are also encouraging people who are taking part in the Teal Pumpkin Project to also separate their candies and non-edible offerings to avoid potential cross contamination which can also trigger food allergies. Even the parents of children with allergies are being told to carefully check labels since what may normally be safe during the year has a high risk of cross contamination as companies mass produce in order to keep up with demands. Individuals who do not want to purchase inedible products are also advised that if they want to purchase items that do not trigger allergic reactions to also keep them separate from products with known allergens.
For many, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a way to make a difference. With so many children dealing with food allergies, it is important for people to pay attention to what they are handing out at Halloween and even other candies for the holidays. As companies try to keep up with the rising demand for treats, allergen information because especially important. The efforts of the FARE organization allow children to have a fun and safe Halloween instead of parents having to worry as much about potential allergic reactions.
On the FARE website, people who are interested in learning more about food allergies and the Teal Pumpkin project can read up on suggestions and tips. On the website there are more ideas for what to hand out to the neighborhood children that come to the door on Halloween. There is also more information on the groups research efforts.
By Kimberley Spinney
Click on Detroit
Photo by Catherine – Flickr License