By now, you probably all know what teal pumpkins mean. But if you’re new to food allergies this year, let me introduce you to probably the best food allergy movement since the inception of the action plan–the Teal Pumpkin Project!
A teal pumpkin on display at your home means that you have non-food treats available to hand out on Halloween, to make the holiday more inclusive to kids with food allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, and other disorders that require special diets. These kids can’t eat all of the candy they receive trick-or-treating–and some of them can barely eat ANY of the candy they receive trick-or-treating! Having little toys dropped into their bags means that these kids can enjoy Halloween more thoroughly, because they can keep the items they receive! By no means does this mean the absence of candy. Nobody wants to completely change Halloween, we just want to make it inclusive for all!
If you’re ready to join the movement, there are lots of places where you can stock up on the little trinkets you need to fill your non-food pail–but one of my favorites is Oriental Trading Company! They’ve got a huge selection of inexpensive toys that fit the bill perfectly–it’s like your One-Stop-Shop for Teal Pumpkin Goodies!
Want to hear a story? When I was about 11 years old, my best friend and I eagerly tore through an Oriental Trading Halloween catalog, and we wound up using our own money to purchase ping-pong eyeballs by the dozen, and plastic bugs by the gross! (In fact, I think I still have a very worn-out ping-pong eyeball rolling around somewhere.)
Here’s the thing–almost all kids like little toys. Last year on Halloween, we held out our bowls of candy and non-food treats and told each trick-or-treater to pick two. Some chose two candies, some chose two toys, and many chose one of each. Ultimately, I think the candy and toys were equally popular at our house. The Teal Pumpkin Project is great because it doesn’t single anyone out–just about everyone will appreciate receiving something fun on Halloween (and parents who are worried about obesity or tooth decay can breathe a little easier too.)
I’ve been very excited this fall to see teal pumpkins hitting the mainstream in many places–it’s remarkable how much momentum this movement has gained! Oriental Trading Company partnered with FARE this year to help spread food allergy awareness, and they also offered to stock my non-food treat bowl, and those of my followers as well! (Hint, there’s a giveaway coming, keep reading!)
Click here to see all the fun pictures of the products and to enter the contest!