Are you ready to spice up this Halloween with a little…teal? Don’t get me wrong; I like the color orange (it is after all my son’s current favorite color) and I live in Big Orange land (so how could I not!), but sometimes straying ever so slightly from tradition is a good thing and in this case, teal is a very good addition to your Halloween decor.
Why?: so that you don’t unintentionally exclude the 1 in 13 children who suffers from a food allergy from enjoying their Halloween loot; so that each and every little goblin and fairy who knocks on your door later this month can partake in the unbridled childhood excitement of digging through their Halloween bag without facing the disappointment of having to throw away most of the candy they’ve received; so that you too can show your support for and raise awareness of food allergies and their sufferers. Doesn’t that sound great?
How?: place a teal colored pumpkin in front of your residence and provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. Those two simple gestures will speak volumes to the allergy food suffers in your community.
Why teal?: teal is the color of food allergy awareness. The Teal Pumpkin Project was launched by FARE – which stands for Food Allergy Research & Education – in an effort to raise awareness of food allergies during Halloween. According to FARE, the Project is “designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies – and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.” And guess what? The Project has East Tennessee roots! Its inception comes from the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET)! How cool is that?!?!
If you’re looking for food allergy-friendly events, you might be interested in the following:
- the FARE Walk for Food Allergy, held Saturday, October 17 at World’s Fair Park. Check-in and activities begin at 8:30am. More information can be found here. Last year this was a big event with over 300 walkers participating. Individuals and teams can pre-register or find a team to join online. After the walk, there will be a kids’ area with a celebratory Teal Pumpkin Party.
- the food allergy friendly Trunk or Treat on Friday, hosted by FACET, on October 23 from 6-7:30pm at Tri-Cities Baptist Church in Gray, Tennessee. This free event will have trunk or treating, games, crafts and teal pumpkin painting.
- the food-free Halloween event held on Saturday, October 24 at 11am at White Oak Park near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dress up in a costume and bring some small food-free treats, handmade items or even just set up a small carnival game, face-painting or any other fun activity.
- the 5th Annual Trick or Trees at the UT Gardens on Saturday, October 24 from 1pm–3pm. FACET has partnered with UT Gardens to provide food-free treats. You and your kids will have the chance to hike through the gardens and make a creepy crawly craft!
- the KMB table at the Freaky Friday Fright Nite in Farragut on Friday, October 30th from 5pm-7pm. KMB is excited to be part of this event and to hand out toys to our Teal Pumpkin Project friends.
If you’re inclined to do so, check out the poster and flyer resources provided by FARE – another perfect way to let food allergy suffers know that you’ve got their backs. And if I’ve piqued your interest in food allergies and want to know more about allergens, food allergy symptoms, and what it’s like to live with a food allergy, read more here.
So what can I hand out this Halloween?: below are some fun, non-food suggestions. Most of these items are available on the cheap at dollar stores, party supply stores, or online shops.
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
- Coloring books
If, in addition to non-food items, you find that you want to hand out food items check out these non-candy suggestions. Just like last year, my kids and I had a great time painting our pumpkins teal. Although thankfully neither of them suffer from food allergies, I want them to be sensitive to other people’s needs and to be as inclusive with their actions as possible.
So won’t you join me this Halloween in making teal the new orange?