South Florida

Teal Pumpkin Project Helps Trick-or-Treaters With Food Allergies

A food allergy mom in Tennessee started the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2012 as a grassroots effort.

Don't get spooked when you see other treats that aren't only candy this Halloween.

If you spot a teal pumpkin on display outside a home, that means the home is food allergy-friendly and they're offering non-food items such as stickers, glow sticks and pens.

"I think the Teal Pumpkin Project is a great asset to the South Florida area because this is raising awareness for children who have these limitations with their food and food selection," said certified nutrition consultant Monica del Valle.

A food allergy mom in Tennessee started the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2012 as a grassroots effort. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) took it national in 2014 to raise awareness of food allergies and create a safer, more inclusive Halloween for all trick-or-treaters.

"The project has continued to gain support over the years and we encourage all families to learn more by visiting our website, and registering their own house on our interactive Teal Pumpkin Project Map," said Lisa Gable, CEO of FARE.

Moms in South Florida have joined in on the awareness effort, including Lourdes Leon-Vega, who has a daughter with a severe peanut allergy.

"Now we have the Teal Pumpkin Project which is amazing, but when she was little it did not exist. So we would let her trick or treat and then we would throw away all the candy and then give her other things she could play with when we got home," said Leon-Vega.

Leon-Vega is also using her business platform to raise awareness on the importance of making all kids feel included on Halloween. The South Florida mom owns Tutti Bambini, a concierge service for all things baby and children.

Last week, she started a social media campaign to promote the Teal Pumpkin Project and to get more parents on board with the initiative by registering their homes on the FARE interactive map.

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