CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We shared with you that purple pumpkins are bringing awareness to children with epilepsy. Now, teal pumpkins are bringing awareness to children with food allergies.
This Halloween, if you spot a teal pumpkin outside someone's home, it means that there will be a non-edible treat option for children who may be allergic to some candy.
“But for the kid with food allergies, and parents, they have to approach this holiday with caution," said Tiffany Leon, senior manager for training and professional development for Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). "And now with the Teal Pumpkin Project, this is just a way to keep them not only safe but included.”
The non-profit organization, FARE, started the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2013.
“We had bubbles one year, stickers and stuff like that," said Stacy White who participates in the Teal Pumpkin Project. "So, I think kids like to be able to have the opportunity to get something a little bit different."
Leon, a registered dietitian, said one in 13 children is affected by food allergies.
“Ninety percent of food-allergic reactions come from eight foods," said Tricia Eddins, registered and licensed dietitian with Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Your cow’s milk, soybeans, eggs, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts; let’s see — fish, and shellfish.”
White said she likes the idea that children with food sensitivities and allergies can still enjoy one of their favorite holidays of the year.
“I like the idea of kids who can’t have candy and have certain allergies, for them to still feel included in Halloween," White said. "So, the idea that we can go and buy stuff that they can have and still have a container for them to pick and choose from, it allows them the ability to still enjoy Halloween just like the rest of the kids out there.”
New this year for the Teal Pumpkin Project is an interactive map.
"You can log on to tealpumpkin.org and you can add your house if you're participating in the project," said Leon. "I added mine the other day. My mom's participating in it this year. And if you are looking for houses in your neighborhood that are participating, you can log on."
One thing to remember if participating is to keep your candy in one bowl and your toys, non-edible items, in a separate bowl.