The Special Meaning Behind Teal Pumpkins On Halloween

While trick-or-treating with the kids, if you see a teal-colored pumpkin on the porch, it’s more than just a cute Halloween decoration. Here's what they mean.

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With 2022’s Halloween less than a week away, parents are putting together the final touches for the fun evening. Costumes are set, candy has been bought, and pumpkins have been carved. But some families go beyond the regular orange gourd associated with Halloween. They also place a teal-painted pumpkin on their doorstep before trick-or-treating too — but why? Here’s what you need to know.

What does the teal pumpkin mean?

While trick-or-treating with the kids, if you see a teal-colored pumpkin on the porch, it’s more than just a cute look. Teal pumpkins are part of a project aimed at promoting the inclusion, respect, and safety of individuals who navigate food allergies.

“Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies,” writes the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the non-profit behind the project.

“Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.”

How the teal pumpkin works on trick-or-treat night

When the night for trick-or-treating comes, placing a teal pumpkin on the porch signals to the neighborhood that you also have allergy-friendly, non-food treats to hand out.

A child who knocks on the door may ask for the teal treat. Or if a kiddo is holding a teal-colored bag or pumpkin to collect their candy, that signals they’re trick-or-treating with a food allergy.

The Teal Pumpkin Project also has printables and other resources parents or people in the neighborhood can use to participate this year and help make trick-or-treating more inclusive.

There’s a map you can check for teal-pumpkin-friendly neighborhoods

To help make it easier for families to find a neighborhood that’s more teal-pumpkin friendly, they’ve launched a Teal Pumpkin Project map to find participating houses near you.

“You can also submit your house to map as well,” the non-profit writes. “Not all homes that participate, however, add their location to the map -- so the best way to know is to look out for that teal-colored pumpkin outside.”

Some allergen-friendly ideas for trick-or-treaters

There are many stores where parents can pick up fun little trinkets to pass out instead of candy. A few examples of what you can have on hand for the teal pumpkin project include:

  • Stickers
  • Bubbles
  • Crayons or pencils
  • Playing cards
  • Mini coloring books
  • Small games like Slinkies or Rubik’s cubes

It’s also important to note that you need to be mindful of toys that have allergens, so steer away from balloons and other items that may contain latex and toys that often contain gluten, like playdough.

For more information, check out The Teal Pumpkin Project.

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