According to non-profit advocacy group Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), there are a whopping 6 million American children who will have to celebrate this Halloween with food allergies. Peanuts, eggs, milk, soy and an abundance of other candy-related ingredients are all common allergic triggers in America. Luckily, one parent is fighting to accommodate all trick-or-treaters with a nationwide campaign: The Teal Pumpkin Project.
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The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages non-food trick-or-treating
Back in 2012, Becky Basalone of Tennessee developed the Teal Pumpkin Project, a nationwide effort to encourage families to offer up forms of non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. Participation in this all-inclusive activity begins by putting a teal-colored pumpkin or a signifying sign outside of your door. You then have non-food goodies available, including things like glow sticks, stickers, bubbles and decorative treats like Halloween rings and necklaces.
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"Our goal is to have every block in America with a teal pumpkin."
FARE first promoted the idea nationwide in 2014 with the help of a viral Facebook post. Nancy Gregory, senior director of communications explains that in 2015, roughly one million people visited the group’s website while about 10,000 of them put their homes on an interactive map showing teal pumpkin access points.
This year, the group is thinking bigger, Gregory says: “Our goal is to have a home on every block in America with a teal pumpkin. We hope that it becomes a new Halloween tradition.”
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The big idea: Rethink the Halloween experience entirely
In addition to offering an avenue for trick-or-treaters with allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project also invites parents to rethink the Halloween experience entirely. Offering non-food items is safe, but in many cases it can serve as a healthier alternative to more processed sugar. More and more parents are considering healthy alternatives to Halloween candy, and painting a pumpkin teal just makes the process all the more fun.
WATCH on Z Living: Now Eat This!, where renowned chef Rocco DiSpirito challenges people to eat healthy by arming them with nutritious recipes and ingredients and giving instruction on proper ways to prepare the meals. See a sneak peek here.
Tell us in the comments: Will you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year?