Halloween is a time for kids to trick-or-treat their faces off and give a special few an excuse to dress in scantily designed costumes. Fun, right? But Halloween can also provide a good scare — and not just because of the obvious. For kids and parents of kids with food allergies, Oct. 31 can be scary for different reasons.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is trying to change all that. For its third year, aside from the usual batch of awesomely carved orange (and those trendy white) pumpkins, you might see the odd teal one every now and again.

Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you with a Halloween trick. Rather, a teal pumpkin lets those who ring your doorbell know that you’re handing out nut-free alternatives. So kids who typically don’t knock on doors because they can’t afford to risk an allergic reaction now have a safe haven.

It’s a simple way to make a huge difference for the children in your community who live with food allergies or other conditions that mean candy is not an option.

If you want to be a teal pumpkin-ed house, all you have to do is paint one or, better yet, get your kids to help out with the art job. And think outside the Halloween box. While the treats you hand out can certainly be nut-free candy, items you’d typically find in a loot bag (pencils, erasers, stickers, bubbles, balls and glow sticks) also make for great, well, loot. Best part? It’s a win-win. Because no kid should be afraid to trick-or-treat.


denette_bio11.jpgDenette Wilford is a writer dabbling in the worlds of lifestyle, sports and entertainment. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post Canada, The Loop, The TV Junkies, 24 Hours Toronto and TV Guide Canada. Follow her on Twitter @DenetteWilford