Put a Teal Pumpkin on Your Porch

Put a teal pumpkin on your porch this Halloween to signal that you have allergen-free treats for trick-or-treaters.

teal pumpkin
A teal pumpkin signals allergy-free treats for trick-or-treaters.

Why Are Food Allergies a Big Deal?

It may be hard for older generations to understand what a family goes through when a child has food allergies because food allergies were less common when they were raising children. However, the number of Americans diagnosed with food allergies has increased by 50% since 1997. One in 13 children and 1 in 10 adults now have food allergies in the US.(1)

Children with food allergies may face social isolation, bullying, and miss out on events like trick-or-treating because they can't handle certain ingredients found in popular Halloween candy. (2) For those with severe allergies, children not only have to avoid ingesting the ingredient, but also coming into contact with the food altogether.

The difficulties are compounded with financial impacts to families purchasing special foods for their children as well as physical and psychological impacts when a life-threatening reaction occurs.(2)

Children with food allergies face social isolation.

Major Allergens

According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004, the top 9 allergens that must be declared on nutrition labels include: (3)

  1. peanut

  2. tree nuts

  3. milk

  4. wheat

  5. soy

  6. egg

  7. sesame

  8. fish

  9. shellfish

It may seem challenging to find treats that don't contain any of these ingredients, but there are brands listed below, or you can determine if they are safe by reading the end of the ingredients list. Most large companies bold the allergens and it will look similar to:


Companies can choose instead to list the common name of the major food allergen followed by the food source in parentheses in the list of the ingredients. For example:

"lecithin (soy)," "flour (wheat)," and "whey (milk)"

Allergy-Free Treats You Can Offer

For those interested in being an allergy-free home for kids with food allergies to visit on Halloween, here are a list of allergy-free treats you can offer:

These can be purchased at your local grocery store, Target, Walmart, or online at retailers like vitacost.com, Amazon.com, or instacart.com

How Do I Let Families Know I Have Allergy-Free Treats on Halloween?

  1. A teal pumpkin on your porch lets families know that you have treats free of the top 9 allergens for their little ghouls. You can paint your own pumpkin or purchase one at most stores during the Halloween season.

  2. Add your house to the map! FARE's Teal Pumpkin Project has started a nationwide map of homes providing allergen-free treats to kids this year. I just added mine and I was automatically entered to win a $500 giftcard from FARE. Add your address so families can search the FARE website to find homes near them offering allergy-free treats.

trick-or-treaters go to teal pumpkin homes
Kids with allergies look for homes with teal pumpkins on their porch.

For more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit FARE's website.

If your family needs help finding allergy-free substitutions or navigating newly diagnosed food allergies, make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian at: ZESTNutritionService.com

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