Since the inception of the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014, blue-green painted pumpkins have been popping up in increasing numbers in October. A teal pumpkin is a visual sign that non-food treats are being handed out for Halloween – a simple act of kindness that allows kids with food allergies to participate fully, without food worries.
The initiative, now promoted by numerous allergy organizations, also provides an opportunity to strut teal-tinged creativity. Our editors scrolled through many teal pumpkin online posts to arrive at a list of 10 wonderful and varied designs. From glitter to ribbons, from sweet to monstrous looks, we hope you enjoy – and find inspiration for our own pumpkin this Halloween.
To understand the immense impact of this project for the food allergy community, we asked our designers: “What does The Teal Pumpkin Project mean to you?” Their answers are as inspired as their carving and decorating.
1. Touch of Gold by Allison Purvis
What ‘teal’ means: “The Teal Pumpkin Project means that every child can safely participate in the joy and fun of Halloween. For our food allergy family, it has become a special yearly tradition to place our teal pumpkin outside and gather non-food treats for children with food allergies. We also like to spot other teal pumpkins during the season. It’s fun when we find one!”
2. Put a Bow On It by Abby Briney
What ‘teal’ means: “I chose to participate in the teal pumpkin event because I have a few children in my life that have allergies. I wanted to make sure that I offered a chance for all kids to enjoy the fun of Halloween.”
3. Teal Ribbon by Kelley Grace Quakkelaar
What ‘teal’ means: “My daughter has a nut allergy, so we always have this issue ‘front of mind’ during Halloween. We love that there is a fun way to show that we participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, plus I’m an accessories designer and love a good reason to fire up the glue gun.”
4. Skeleton Teal Pumpkin by Tara Geise
What ‘teal’ means: “The Teal Pumpkin Project means safety and inclusion for all kids including our son, Cody, who has multiple severe food allergies. He can’t have 99% of the treats he collects. It doesn’t bother him, but last Halloween while trick-or-treating Cody ran up to us yelling, ‘Mommy, Daddy, they had a teal pumpkin and I got a toy!’ He was so happy!”
5. Monster Bowl by Trista Perot
What ‘teal’ means: “The Teal Pumpkin Project is genius! I love that we have a universal symbol to let families know that we offer a safe, food-free alternative for the kids with allergies. Leave no trick-or-treater behind!”
6. Happy Owlaween by Lori Reshetar
What ‘teal’ means: “I decided to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project because I have friends with children with food allergies or are going through an illness that may hinder them from eating certain foods.”
7. Stripes & Polkadots by Kristen Tucker
What ‘teal’ means: “We participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project because we know how upsetting it can be to trick or treat and receive a piece of candy you will not be able to eat. We only offer non-food items at our house – because we want everyone to have a treat they can enjoy without restriction.”
8. The Eye Ball by Denise Delaney
What ‘teal’ means: “I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 4 years ago; my daughter received her diagnosis shortly thereafter. My family has thrown a huge Halloween party called “The Eye Ball” for 13 years; we knew the party would go on, but that we were going to have to make some changes to the food-related elements. When we found out about The Teal Pumpkin Project, we embraced it wholeheartedly.”
9. The Scarecrow by Heather Oxborrow
What ‘teal’ means: “I have had a tree nut allergy since childhood and I now have a child with multiple food allergies. The teal pumpkin is such a great idea to give allergy families peace of mind when there is a completely safe alternative with non-food items.”
10. Glow Sticks by Deanna Killbride
What ‘teal’ means: “Our daughter is always so delighted on Halloween when she goes to a home giving out something aside from candy, because she can actually enjoy it, too! We give out glow sticks every year because kids love them and, as an added bonus, they are a great safety measure on Halloween.”