With Halloween right around the corner, I've seen a lot of #TealPumpkinProject but a lot of the treat suggestions were crappy, cheap, plastic toys and things I don't want to buy and put in someone else's home. I don't want my kids coming home with a bunch of little spider rings and vampire teeth, so why would I inflict those things on other parents? So I've been looking for alternatives.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a movement of sorts, aiming to make Halloween more inclusive for people with food allergies. Some kids are allergic to chocolate, or nuts, or eggs, or wheat, or a myriad of other things, so rather than excluding them or giving them things they can't eat, the Teal Pumpkin Project offers alternative treat ideas.
The idea is to make sure everyone is included in an otherwise very fun and excited holiday. You can purchase a plastic teal pumpkin from pretty much anywhere, or buy a real pumpkin and paint it teal, but displaying a teal pumpkin outside your home signifies to trick-or-treaters a (and their parents) that this home offers non-food treat options. We are going to have a teal pumpkin bucket and an orange candy bowl, to try and include all of our neighbors and their kids.
Amazon offers some great Teal Pumpkin packages, that even include the pumpkin for you. This one, for example, offers pencils, self-inking stamps, stickers, and erasers along with an electric teal pumpkin that will help your neighbors identify your home as a food allergy friendly spot to trick-or-treat. This package advertises over 150 treats, including adorable Halloween themed rubber duckies.
I grabbed a few dozen Halloween stickers and tattoos from the dollar spot at Target last week. I really liked them because they come in cardboard boxes (recyclable) and are consumable, which really satisfies my minimalistic tendencies. I'll add a couple packages of Halloween pencils to our Teal Pumpkin bucket before Halloween next week.
If you are reading this and wondering "why should I care about this? Why should I bother with these extra steps? It's not my fault that kid can't eat the treats I'm giving out." That's true. It's not your fault. But it's not their fault either. No one chooses to have food allergies, and it's a pain in the ass to deal with on a daily basis. Constantly thinking about what might be in the food you eat. Wondering if you're going to have an allergic reaction. Making sure you have an epi-pen with you, just in case. Take a moment, if you will, and imagine if that was your life, or worse, if that was your child. The amount of stress and worry that could cause is immense, and depending on the level of allergy, it can be a constant weight on their chest.
I'm not trying to guilt anyone into participating. If you choose not to, that's completely fine! No pressure, no worries. I'm just here to offer tips and suggestions on how to participate in a more eco and budget friendly way.
I've created an Amazon list with some great packages to set you up to have a flawless Teal Pumpkin Halloween this year.
Do you or someone you know have food allergies?
Get your daily Nerdy fix by following us on Instagram