Meet the Creator of The Teal Pumpkin Project®: A Mom Who’s Made A BIG Difference

Have you noticed the transformation over the past few years? In a sea of orange and black, a splattering of teal has made an appearance on spooky store aisles everywhere. This bright pop of color that’s made its way into major retailers like Target, Walmart and CVS at Halloween isn’t just a new decorating trend… it is a movement. Spreading throughout the U.S. and abroad, the Teal Pumpkin Project® encourages families to make Halloween safe and inclusive for ALL trick-or-treaters – even those with food allergies and dietary restrictions. 

But, the back story behind this universal message of inclusion is much more interesting than people may realize… 

Becky Basalone, creator of the Teal Pumpkin Project

The idea for displaying a teal pumpkin on Halloween and handing out non-food goodies to kids who can’t have candy didn’t begin at a CEO’s boardroom table. And, it wasn’t the product of a brainstorming session at a high-level marketing firm. It came straight from the heart of an “ordinary mom” who simply saw a need in her community. 

And, we could all learn a thing or two from her.

This rockstar mama is Becky Basalone, mom of two boys, and the heart {and brains} behind the Teal Pumpkin Project®. As a food allergy mom myself, I was so honored to have the opportunity to interview her and learn more about the inspirational story behind this initiative that’s spread around the world like wildfire.

As Becky told me, “The teal pumpkin is my love letter to my children and other families who need its message.” But, what’s interesting is that her message goes much further than compassion and inclusion. If you are a mom who doesn’t think you can make a difference… or that your voice matters… or that your ideas can truly impact the world… think again. And, listen to what this awesome mom has to say to that. 

You came up with the idea of the teal pumpkin because you wanted your children to feel included. What kind of impact do you feel it has on our kids’ hearts? And, how important is this to you as a mom?

Just a few months after my son’s food allergy diagnosis, I could already see a change in how we interacted with other people and how they interacted with us. We needed a tool to begin the conversation to educate, raise awareness, and promote compassion.

So, we painted a pumpkin teal – the color of food allergy awareness – to take to an allergy-safe Halloween event. We didn’t want anyone to be excluded in the fun, so we had a bucket of non-food treats available since candy is not always a safe option for all kids. Afterwards, my oldest son took the pumpkin and toys and placed them on the front porch at home. This helped to start the conversation with families who were trick-or-treating, and we provided small toys to the children who could not have candy. It was never our mission to remove candy from the fun, but we just wanted to show all kids that we understood and supported them.

With this small act of kindness, I taught my sons to be proud and confident in who they are and care for others the same way.

How does it feel to now see your teal pumpkins on Halloween store shelves everywhere, even in other countries? Could you ever have imagined the impact your idea would have? 

Many people have worked tirelessly for years to ensure that the Teal Pumpkin Project® remains relevant and mission-driven. The level of support grows each year. It is absolutely thrilling to walk in to a store and see that! 

I love the message that it sends, especially to my children, that you can make a difference. I’m just a mom with the mission to empower my child and show kindness to others at the same time – and the impact that mission has made is truly outstanding. My boys and I are extremely proud that others see the value in being compassionate to others, and we hope that it continues for many, many years.

So many of us women lack confidence, have a fear of failure, or simply struggle with indecision on where to begin. We may have a little ping in our hearts to do something, but don’t know how to act on it. What would your advice be to any mom out there who has an idea, or is thinking about taking a leap of faith to help others? 

Parenting is hard. My advice to parents of children with unique challenges is to never give up hope, keep fighting for your child to live his or her best life, and understand that you are not alone in this journey. Reach out and connect with others, and do not let fear hold you back. You are the greatest influence in how your child approaches his or her challenges. Pray for guidance. Pray for strength and wisdom. Pray for vision of a clear path. And, listen to that little ping in your heart – it was planted there for a reason.

Food Allergy Research Education’s (FARE), is working in conjunction with other national food allergy advocacy groups to spread the word about the Teal Pumpkin Project®. For more information on how you can take part in this program, please visit FARE’s website for a plethora of educational and informational resources on the campaign at 

Are you a family that has been positively impacted by the Teal Pumpkin Project®? Or, are you planning to display a teal pumpkin and provide non-food treats along with Halloween candy this year? If so, please comment below!