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Paint a pumpkin teal for food allergy awareness

Jonathan Zukoff, 10, of Merrick holds a pumpkin

Jonathan Zukoff, 10, of Merrick holds a pumpkin painted teal -- the color of food allergy awareness -- on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. His parents put teal-colored pumpkins outside their home to let trick-or-treaters know they will be handing out non-edible treats for Halloween. Photo Credit: Tara Conry

The Food Allergy Research and Education organization is encouraging households to start a new tradition this Halloween: painting a pumpkin teal in honor of food allergy awareness.

The Teal Pumpkin Project launched two years ago with households participating from 50 states and seven countries. This year, the organization is encouraging families to join the 100,000 homes taking the pledge this year to raise awareness of food allergies and promote a fun, safe Halloween for all trick-or-treaters. According to FARE, food allergies affect one in 13 U.S. children. Teal has been the color of food allergy awareness for nearly 20 years.

By placing a teal pumpkin on your porch, other families managing food allergies will know that you will be offering nonfood treats on Halloween. The organization suggests buying inexpensive goodies such as glow bracelets or necklaces, pencils, markers, boxes of crayons, erasers, bubbles, mini-Slinkys, whistles or noisemakers, bouncy balls, coins, spider rings, vampire teeth, mini notepads, playing cards, bookmarks, stickers, stencils and more. You can find some of these treats at Party City stores or at Oriental Trading and Amazon.

It's easy to participate. Simply sign the FARE pledge, purchase up some inexpensive toys and place a teal pumpkin outside your home. Not into painting pumpkins? FARE is offering a free printable flier to post on the door or in the window to notify trick-or-treaters that you have nonfood items to hand out.

To help spread the word, use the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject. For more information, visit foodallergy.org.

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