Life is much more difficult for children with food allergies and for their families. Yet food allergies are something that we all need to become aware of … not only to make events more inclusive but also to become more aware of the foods our own families eat.
As part of the food preparation activities we teach in Montessori schools and homes, it’s awesome if we can encourage allergy-free food awareness and preparation whenever possible. My husband and I have been vegetarians for over 40 years, and we have become more and more health conscious over time. My daughter had some food allergies that have helped us develop more recipes that are gluten-free, sugar free, and dairy free. Although we originally used dairy products, I’ve adapted our recipes to use soy milk instead of dairy milk (although any type of plant-based milk can be used if your family has soy allergies).
This year, I’m excited to do extra to help children with food allergies. Rather than handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, I’ll be one of the many people participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project and handing out non-food treats.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links (at no cost to you). This post isn’t sponsored by FARE. I’m just participating in and blogging about the Teal Pumpkin Project because I want to help kids with food allergies.
What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?
FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) started The Teal Pumpkin Project to bring awareness to food allergies and make Halloween better for children with food allergies. The site says: “FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids.” The teal pumpkin was chosen as the symbol to identify families who will be handing out non-food treats for Halloween.
How to Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project
You can participate in a variety of ways. The simplest way is to place a teal-colored pumpkin (DIY or purchased) on your doorstep along with a sign identifying your house as participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project by making non-food treats available.
That doesn’t mean you can’t hand out candy. If you prefer, you can have non-food treats for trick-or-treaters with food allergies and candy for trick-or-treaters who can have candy and prefer that. I’m just handing out non-food treats, but you can choose what’s best for your family. If you’d like to connect with other homes in your area who are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, there’s a Teal Pumpkin Project participation map.
Free Teal Pumpkin Project Printables and Ideas for Non-Food Treats from FARE
FARE has lots of great free resources for anyone who wishes to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. There are free promotional materials like signs and flyers. There are even free kids’ activities to download.
You’ll find many ideas for non-food treats. I love the free guide to non-food Halloween treats infographic from FARE.
Our Teal Pumpkin Project
Materials Used for Our Teal Pumpkin Project Display
- Teal Pumpkin Project “Non-Food Treats Available Here” Sign (free instant download)
- pumpkin (only 1 is needed, although I used 3)
- teal (or turquoise) acrylic paint
- acrylic sticker gems (I used clear ones and blue ones)
Our Non-Food Treats for Halloween
I’ll be handing out glowsticks with connectors for Halloween. They’ll be in the Teal Pumpkin Halloween Trick or Treat Bucket from F.A.R.E. Below are the specific products I’m using. I chose glowsticks because kids of all ages typically enjoy them, but there are many different items easily available for non-food treats.
Update: I’ve recently used LED finger lights, which were very popular with trick-or-treaters.
Teal Pumpkin Halloween Trick or Treat Bucket 8.5 in – Official Teal Pumpkin Project Allergy-Friendly Candy Accessory – All Sales Supports F.A.R.E.
Preparing our Teal Pumpkins
You can buy foam teal pumpkins (Amazon isn’t the least expensive place to get these) or make them in whatever style you prefer. We bought 3 small pumpkins, painted them with non-toxic acrylic paint, and added glitter and sticker gems.
Zoey enjoyed her painting project. I just told her to first paint the entire pumpkin. This wasn’t too difficult for a preschooler who can concentrate for a length of time. For a preschooler who has difficulty concentrating, you could just have one small pumpkin. We didn’t worry about painting the bottom of each pumpkin.
To decorate the pumpkins, Zoey just had to sprinkle glitter on the wet paint of the first pumpkin. That was super easy.
Then we used a hair dryer set on cool to speed up the drying process of the other two pumpkins. When the paint was dry, Zoey added individual gem stickers to the second pumpkin. For the last pumpkin, she used gem stickers in rows. We cut them into rows of 10 gems each, and Zoey placed them vertically on the pumpkin.
Zoey and I love how the pumpkins turned out!
Preparing Our Teal Pumpkin Project Display
We placed the pumpkins out on the front doorstep.
I printed out the free “Non-Food Treats Available Here” sign from FARE. I have the pumpkins on our doorstep already. On Halloween, I’ll add the sign.
I can’t wait to share some fun non-food treats on Halloween! I’d love to hear if you’re participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween, too. However you celebrate, Happy Halloween! 🙂
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