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No, those teal pumpkins on your neighbor’s doorstep are not an allusion to the Disney movie, Frozen. They are a symbol of the households’ participation in the Teal Pumpkin Project, a national campaign that promotes the handing out of non-food treats so children with food allergies can safely participate in the fun of the Halloween season.
Approximately 1 in 13 children in the United States have some type of food allergy according to Food Allergy & Education (FARE), which launched the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014. Allergies can produce symptoms that include everything from irritating rashes to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Allergens including soy, corn, gluten, nuts and milk are common ingredients in candy, meaning children with food allergies cannot eat the sweet treats they score trick-or-treating. The safest way to include all trick-or-treaters is to provide fun, non-food treats.
FARE suggests handing out easily available, low-cost items such as glow sticks and bracelets, stickers, bubbles, coins, vampire fangs, Halloween-themed pencils and notepads, playing cards and mini-Slinkies. The organization cautions that some toys may contain allergens, such as gluten in some clays or latex, so remember to check the labels. Households can still hand out candy, but should keep it separate from the non-food treats.
Those interested in learning more about the Teal Pumpkin project can visit www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project. Cross Creek Ranch residents planning to participate should email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org.