No Tricks Here! The Teal Pumpkin Project Encourages Safe Halloween Treats for All

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Find out everything you need to know about the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Lit Pumpkin with Happy Face Teal on target shelf hyde and eek

Make Halloween fun for everyone this year! 🎃

Before we know it, we’ll be getting ready for trick-or-treaters at the door on Halloween night. If you want to feel great about handing out all those goodies, The Teal Pumpkin Project might make you want to participate in Halloween a little differently this year.

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

The Teal Pumpkin Project was created by FARE with the idea to give out non-food items so kids are able to participate in the fun holiday, but not receive things that can make them sick. By setting out a teal pumpkin, you’re signaling to parents that it’s safe for children with allergies to stop at your home and trick or treat.

hand holding teal pumpkin project halloween print out

And, their interactive map makes it SO easy to participate! 🎉

Their interactive map feature allows families all over the U.S. to find other houses in their neighborhood that are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project! By simply adding your address or street, it lets other Teal Pumpkin Project followers know you’ll be giving out Teal Pumpkin treats this year! Plus, it’s a fun & easy way to connect with other homes in your area to help create a safer & more inclusive Halloween for all! 🙌🏻

halloween teal pumpkins

 Have you seen a blue pumpkin on a doorstep?💙

Although not yet supported by a formal fundraiser or organization, many families across the country have adopted setting out a blue pumpkin as a way to raise awareness for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders who may have a harder time practicing typical Halloween traditions. Head over here for more helpful information on the blue pumpkin.

Ready to grab a teal pumpkin and participate?

hand holding top of teal pumpkin in wire basket

Here’s a list of stores where we’ve recently spotted teal pumpkins, and you can even order them online:

hand holding teal colored paint and glitter in front of store craft aisle

Don’t want to buy one? 

Another great option is to paint a cardboard faux pumpkin or a real one you scoop up from the pumpkin patch. Grab the kids and some paintbrushes and make it a fun and educational fall activity.

I also love the Teal Pumpkin Party decor, good bags, and yard signs available online at Target and Amazon!

Here are my top 10 non-food treat ideas if you want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project:

  1. Glow Stick Necklaces
  2. 48 Piece Notebooks, Pencils, Erasers, & Stickers
  3. Eyeball Bouncy Balls
  4. Spooky Slinkies
  5. Monkey Stringy Balls
  6. Halloween Notepads
  7. Glitter Sticky Hands
  8. Mini Noise Putty
  9. Mini Halloween Stamps
  10. Halloween Slap Bracelets

Plus, don’t forget to stop by your local Dollar Tree to see all their affordable non-food Halloween goodies!

*Note that playdough contains wheat/gluten so FARE does not recommend this candy alternative.

teal pumpkin project printable on blue pumpkin with decor

Here’s what a few readers said about their Teal Pumpkin Project from last Halloween:

“For years I’ve been handing out glow sticks. Seeing how excited the kids get and how they’d yell to their parents about them is so rewarding. Plus, it’s cheaper than candy too!” – Emily 

“We always have Dum Dums which are peanut, dairy, and nut-free in one bowl and toys in another for our teal pumpkin friends. I also save happy meal stuff year-round for goodie bags and purchase little packs of crayons for the little ones so parents can put them in their diaper bags. We also often do bubbles, bracelets, fangs, tattoos, and stickers.” – Jodi 

“We are a teal pumpkin family as well. I keep two separate containers. One with non-food items (mini-notebooks & crayons, party favor type toys, clearance finds, books, etc.) and the other with mini bags of pretzels, popcorn balls, and other “lunch box” snacks. We do ZERO candy in our house since we end up throwing it away anyhow. Whereas the non-candy treats are always eaten right away. We even keep treats for the dogs, it always blows dog owners away.” – Toretto 

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About the writer:

Chelsey is a writer & photographer with both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Arizona State University. She holds 3+ years blogging experience not only for Hip2Save, but various other publications in the health, lifestyle, and education field.

Join The Discussion

Comments 37

  1. Lady H

    We love teal pumpkin! We have done it for years, and having kiddos with allergies, we always look for the teal pumpkins. We print out a flyer from the website every year and post it on our house at the beginning of October so people who drive by our house can see it all season long to know we’re participating. It also helps spread awareness. Such a fantastic movement!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      It sure is. Thanks for sharing how you have participated each year, Lady H!

  2. Courtney

    I have heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project before and feel that it is such a great movement. My 19 month old son has had food allergies since he was born and trying to determine what made him sick at the beginning was heartbreaking. Also, being a mom with a child who has food allergies, it is so unbelievably hard sometimes because they don’t understand why they can’t have what everyone else is having, allergy safe treats doesn’t just make my life easier, but it brightens that child’s day even more!! While I did check the map in our area for other households participating, I only found one, and it isn’t close. So this year we will be placing a sign and our teal pumpkin out! Hopefully it will bring awareness to other parents who stop by.

  3. Kat

    I made a white shirt with a teal pumpkin on it last year to wear while taking my kids around – I carried non candy treats to hand out while we walked and my husband carried a bowl of candy – best of both worlds! I missed handed out candy since we had five little ones to take trick or treating!

    • J

      That was generous & awesome of you all to still hand out treats!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      What a great idea, Kat! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  4. Carrie

    We have also done the teal pumpkin for at least the last 4 years. We find those vampire teeth to be the biggest hit, and you can get a 10 pack at Michael’s for less 10 pieces of candy. We also stock up on things when Halloween stuff goes on clearance, and since, unlike candy, vampire teeth and pencils, and snap bracelets don’t go bad, we always have a fantastic selection at very minimal cost.

  5. Brooke

    We love the Teal Pumpkin Project! While the above comments in your post are helpful, it might be worth re-thinking the idea of handing out Play-Doh. It is unsafe for anyone with a gluten/wheat allergy or sensitivity – especially those with Celiac Disease!

    • Jenn

      Agree with the play-doh comment. Play-doh contains wheat, which is one of the top 8 food allergies that the teal pumpkin project looks to avoid. Also, there are some Halloween packages of chocolate sixlets that are packaged in teal and are promoting the TPP but are NOT safe. I hope this helps someone!

      • TraciBo

        People that are allergic to wheat and colorings and other ingredients in a play-doh or slime cannot/should not touch it. I am so allergic to wheat I cannot even smell play-doh without having an allergic reaction; however each individual will have a different severity and a different reaction. Also, children with Celiac Disease cannot/should not touch it. I buy different items and always make sure the ingredients are on there and have the adult tell me which treat they can have. I have a cousin in Chicagoland that gives out potatoes 🥔 every year and the kids flock to their house

        • Alma

          Cooked or raw potatoes? I must know!
          We have a neighbor that dressed a monkey one year and teased the kids he was going to give them a banana instead of candy. My kids all wanted the banana. 5 years later this guy is still buying bananas the day before Halloween for my group.

      • v

        Yes, there are different levels. Some kids have reactions if they ingest, some have reactions from contact (simply touching) and some have reactions to inhalation (simply if they breathe/smell it).

      • carrie-9

        For some people yes. 🙁 So many things need to be avoided that you wouldn’t never even think of. With gluten issues: Shampoos, lotions, toothpastes, deodorants. Etc. People with extreme sensitivities / celiac have so many things to be careful of, food is just one of them.

  6. Marie

    I can’t live in a world where there’s no candy on Halloween so it’s our tradition to fill little bags with a pencil, toys, and candy that way kids who want candy get it and kids who cant have the candy can just have the toys and toss the candy (or let mom and dad have it :P). Best of both worlds.

    • Jen

      My kiddo has food allergies and can’t live without candy on Halloween either! She wants to be like her siblings & friends. It’s never been an issue for us – we just switch out her candy for the stuff she can eat. My kids love goodie bags – nothing better than toys AND candy!!

      • Alycat

        Same here my daughter has peanut allergy and we just trade with her friends who go with us. I feel like Halloween dying. Less and less people open there doors were we live. So I’m just happy they hand out something. It to hard to accommodate all allergy there so many now days. My husband soccer team we had to do no treats because there was 20 different food allergy on team and by time listed every thing out there was really nothing you give kids without leaving one out. I have taught my daughter that this just part of life and that she needs to read label before she eats it.

  7. Jenn

    Love!!!! Thanks for sharing the information! We have three littles with severe food allergies and it honestly means the world to me and my kids are when people are thoughtful enough to be all inclusive! 😊

  8. JW

    I have never heard of the teal pumpkin project but will be adding this to our porch this year! How could you not?! Thank you for sharing this! 🤗

    • Pamela I Morris

      I absolutely love this idea for children who have allergies. Being classified as being allergic too myself & having to live on breathing medicine, up to 32 medications, along with epipens for the past 12 year’s has definitely made me aware of everything in & around my environment, yet have never heard or seen anything on the teal pumpkin project. I was surprised reading about the teal pumpkin project & seems to have been going on for some while. I am in the allergist/immunologist office more than I visit my own adult children & grandchildren & have never seen anything about this project. Nor, have I ever seen a teal pumpkin on any porch in my community or surrounding community & We don’t miss a Halloween trick or treat night. I will definitely be painting me one of the white pumpkins this year & participating at my son’s home to hand out the treats while they go tricking. I will be sharing this information with my Drs office as well so they can spread this news for the upcoming holiday as well.

  9. V

    My daughter has peanut and tree nut allergies, and no one in our neighborhood does the teal pumpkins. So sad! So, we usually separate out what she can eat, and sell all the rest back at our dentist “candy buy back” for $.

  10. Sarah Lamb

    My 7 year old was diagnosed with food allergies last August. I went full out Teal Pumpkin last year, even though we had always had non toy items to give, I did 75% toys and you k ow what? It was the candy, not the toys left behind! We had over 300 trick or treaters too!

  11. Anne

    Any ideas on items that are easily recyclable/biodegradable? I often see stuff for this project thats like plastic vampire teeth or cheap toys that just end up in the trash.
    So far I can just think of stickers/tattoos and pencils.
    All the trash waste around holidays makes me sad.

    • Wehaf

      Mini notebooks, mini coloring books, crayons, soap, sidewalk chalk, seed packets, plantable seed paper shapes, seed bombs, metal cookie cutters, decks of cards (often not recyclable, but less likely to be tossed aside).

  12. Melie

    I’ve handed out glow sticks with our candy for several years now and kids *love* it. Plus it helps keep them a little more visible trick-or-treating in the dark :).

    Also, off topic, but the organization behind the teal pumpkin project (FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education) has some fantastic resources for those with food allergies. Their “Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan” is fantastic for anyone who needs to carry an epi-pen – it details symptoms to look for and how to use common auto-injectors, with spaces to fill in information like your specific allergens, medication dosages, and doctor’s contact info.

    • Amber

      I used to pick them up at dollar tree. I’ve found 20 for $1 in the past. I know more recently I feel like the package size is smaller.

  13. Karen

    I am glad you posted this as we just had a horrible realization that my daughter has an allergy to tree nuts. So now I too will make that Teal pumpkin and get some glow sticks at the dollar store now to stock up for Halloween. You just never know when those allergies will kick in, my daughter is 18 and never had a problem before. This Halloween we join the teal pumpkins family.


    What a terrific project!!! By the way Home Goods (PA) have Teal pumpkins all of the store ..from glass to soft fabric . They have small ones, large ones and gigantic ones too. Here’s to a safe Halloween for everyone !!!!!

  15. Happy Aunt

    I’ve been giving out drinks such as Capri Suns or bottled water along with Frosty coupons. Kids love the novelty And they often ready for a drink.

  16. 5pink1blue

    We had neighbors that gave out bags of chips and packets of hot chocolate. Not sure about allergens but an alternative to candy.

  17. Darla

    Last few years I’ve been giving away pencils and erasers and Play-Doh with candy. If you are a teal home can you still give away candy as well? Thanks for the new ideas!

    • Sarah

      In the past I’ve printed my signs from the FARE website and one gave the option to indicate that you are a home giving away both edible and non-food treats. It is possible to find and giveaway allergy friendly editable treats.

  18. Sara

    I decided to do non food goodie bags last year, as a serve yourself. I got a sign from Etsy, and put them in a basket on a chair on the front porch. I put a teal pumpkin by them so they know that they’re non-food items, and I actually put on the sign that they were non-food items. I’ve been collecting stuff all year this year to do bigger bags this year. We don’t have kids, it’s fun to make the bags.

  19. Linda TT

    We support the Teal Project! Thank you for posting about it. My son is allergic to shellfish and I don’t take any chances. We always have two baskets – one with traditional candies and one with non-candy treats. Get a teal pumpkin! They look cute too 😉

  20. Lisa

    Thanks for explaining this! My kids are grown & not having any allergies in our family, I didn’t know what it was about.

  21. M

    We love the Teal Pumpkin Project! My son has a peanut allergy and trick or treating can be tough because not many houses near us pass out safe treats. Keep spreading the word for the Teal Pumpkin Project! Thank you for posting about it!!! 🙂

  22. shinepm

    Are Halloween Rice Krispie Treats considered safe treats? Twizzlers, Suckers?

    I’ve already purchased candy, would it inappropriate to have both?

    • Alikia29

      I think that is totally appropriate! I’m participating in a neighborhood event and plan to set up a table of “potions” and cauldrons with different treats and prizes. I’ll probably make a sign them saying something about picking their poisons.

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