Fall festivities and Halloween are incredibly exciting and fun filled with get togethers, outings and the food. The FOOD!! Who isn’t able look back on an amazing fall get together, hayride, or trick-or-treating night with a single unpleasant memory? Parents whose children have food allergies, that’s who! Our oldest son Cooper has a handful of food allergies that have caused us to change the way we grocery shop, eat out, attend social events, and eat at school. Fortunately none of his allergies are anaphylactic, they will cause one mean rash, muscle pain, and days of horrible digestive issues. For many other children and families that’s not their reality, theirs is much worse. One wrong food ingredient could cause their child’s throat to close up in seconds. They are defending their child/dren from commonplace moments constantly.
Cooper is allergic to corn and corn derivatives, coconut, beef, milk, and honey. The big kicker in that list it corn! Corn is in EVERYTHING. Every mix that has cornstarch, each sweetened dessert or candy with corn syrup, as well as healthy treats made with honey. All these things are off limits to him. Most children are resilient when it comes to their allergies and what they can and can’t have. Who would beg to eat something that would make him sick?! One year while going trick or treating around our neighborhood, Cooper announced at each opening of a door, “Trick-or-treat!!! I can’t have corn!” It was as adorable as it was humorous to watch his face and each unsuspecting person we met at each door. Once we arrived back home we go through our children’s treat bags like most other families, but with the extra step of making sure that what we give back to him is free of any of his allergens. More candy for mom and dad! I’m always prone to think about the families who have to search for the ingredients that could cause serious harm to their children or even the ones who sit the night out all together for safety sake.
This is why I love the Teal Pumpkin Project that began a few years ago and is gaining awareness not only nationwide but is stretching to 7 countries.
“Launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project™ raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.”
To participate all you need to do is:
Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and paint a pumpkin teal to place in front of your home, along with a free printable sign from FARE, to indicate you have non-food treats available.
When you participate not only are you sharing with your community that you are aware and sensitive to those food allergies but you are creating a haven for each family who have allergies. They can allow their child to come up to your door without fear. They can join in the fun and festivities worry free with the rest of their friends. Please consider being a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween and help keep our families safe.
Follow this link to the Teal Pumpkin Project’s website to learn more and get involved.
“The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).”