Dietitian's Corner

Teal Pumpkin Project 2017

Oct 26, 2017 | Food Service

With school starting school later than normal due to unexpected events, it is hard to believe October is already here! There are Halloween decorations going up, candy displayed in the stores and costumes galore. What are some Halloween traditions that you celebrate?

Throughout my career as a Registered Dietitian, my responsibilities have included creating dietary accommodations for students with food allergies and/or intolerances. It is estimated one of 13 children in the United States suffers from a food allergy, about two students per class. I have come to sympathize with them and the daily challenges they face. A few years ago I began participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project, supported by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization which promotes the inclusion of all trick-or- treaters by offering non-food treats.

Right about now you’re thinking, but children want candy on Halloween. Well, I am that house that does not offer candy on Halloween night and I have not disappointed a goblin, ghoul or witch yet. Instead of offering chocolate that melts, suckers that are messy or hard candy, try a few of my favorite alternatives listed below. Most of these can be purchased at a dollar store or the seasonal aisle of your grocery store.

  • Halloween stickers/tattoos;
  • Glow sticks, necklaces or bracelets;
  • Pencils or pens;
  • Crazy straws;
  • Bubbles;
  • Noisemakers; and
  • Trinkets (rings, bouncy balls, etc.)

Each year as my child decorates his jack-o-lantern, I spend my time painting a teal pumpkin to alert families that my home offers non-food treats. I was excited this year to see that some of our local stores are now supporting this project and are selling teal pumpkins.
If you are interested in learning more about FARE and The Teal Pumpkin Project, I urge you to visit their website at

Director of Food Services
Matt Antignolo
832-223-0182 |

Assistant Director of Food Services
Stacie E. Bean-Johnson
832-223-0183 |

Kasandra Davis, RD, LD
832-223-0188 |

Administrative Assistant
Judy Cochren
832-223-0180 |

Free & Reduced Meals Program
Alice Velasquez
832-223-0184 |

Grocery Orders & Billing
Isabel Leal
832-223-0185 |

Warehouse Manager
Dennis Cannon
832-223-0181 |

Food Service Coordinator
Marray S. Mbayo, Chef
832-223-0580 |