COLORADO SPRINGS — As trick-or-treaters fill their bags full of candy on Halloween night, the holiday may be quite scary for some children with food allergies.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is an initiative to raise food allergy awareness while offering non-food options to trick-or-treaters who can't necessarily eat candy.
By placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep this Halloween, you're signaling that in addition to candy, you're also handing out non-food treats and toys in a separate bowl. The goal is to make Halloween safer and more inclusive for one in 13 children living with food allergies, intolerances, and other conditions, according to the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).
Timberly and Brian Warner are just one of many families who are participating in the project this year.
"We thought how cool it was to have an opportunity to serve something other than candy, you know, not just for kids with food allergies, but just a different option," said Timberly.
"We have all sorts of fun stuff like googly eyes, you know, notebooks, noisemakers," said Brian.
Aveanna Healthcare, a home healthcare agency in Colorado Springs, is also supporting the project. Thomas Chisholm, the executive director, said many of their pediatric patients have dietary restrictions.
"It's one of the holidays in the entire year that kids seem to enjoy the most. So really making that an opportunity for them and an enjoyable experience. Giving them an option to get toys or something else that's an alternative," said Chisholm.
Those looking to participate in the project can visit the Teal Pumpkin Project Map website to add their house to the network.
Ideas for Non-food Treats
Low-cost items are available at most CVS stores, dollar stores, party supply stores or online retailers. Prime examples of non-food goodies include:
- 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
It is important to remember that these non-food items should be kept in a container separate from containers holding Halloween candy.____
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.