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Monday, October 19, 2015

Teal Pumpkins for a Happy Halloween for Everyone!

"The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)."

Do you know anyone with food allergies? Hazel has several friends with severe nut allergies and a friend with so many allergies that it is impossible for anyone besides his parents to feed him. Yes, his mother brings food to play dates, parties, and everywhere. When Hazel was a baby I met a now good friend and her son has severe nut allergies. Her biggest complaint about Halloween is that it is hard on her son to go trick-or-treating and then not be able to eat any of it. When they still lived in our neighborhood I would always make him a goody bag of toys and non-food items, just so he could have a treat he could enjoy. This year I saw on Facebook about the Teal Pumpkin Project. 

http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.ViWAVSsYHnh


 I wanted to find out more, so I found the FARE site and the explanation of this great project. Displaying a teal pumpkin tells people with kids with food allergies that you will be providing a non-food item for a treat (or a choice of a treat). It allows parents to know which houses they can bring their kids who have the food allergies and have a safe treat for the child. Now you may be wondering what to give as non-food treats. Some ideas are just pick up a bag of small party favors, stickers, or anything like that. Honestly I will be going to the Dollar Tree and buying a couple of bags of party favors to have on hand. I am going to do something not Halloween themed so the kids can use them after the holiday, but I have used Halloween themed favors in previous years. Another option is to buy a simple assortment from Oriental Trading. Just about all kids love glow sticks, so I may go with those this year. 


I did not want to paint a pumpkin teal, so I decided to make a paper one. I started at work cutting a teal pumpkin on the Silhouette Cameo, but I left them at work. (The project helped with my training since it was my first time using the Cameo.) I made a paper strip one using the same method I used to make the orange pumpkins and red apples here.  I used a 9" by 12" piece of teal construction paper, two brass brads and a strip of brown paper for the stem. I used my glue gun to attach the stem. 

So my question for you is will you join me in taking the Teal Pumpkin Project Pledge and offer non-food items as a choice at your house? You can paint a pumpkin teal or make a paper one or print one of FARE's free downloadable posters to display and let the kids know your house is safe for kids with food allergies.

Another great read to understand some of the issues about food allergies is this Babble article, "What Parents of Kids with Food Allergies Want You to Know" by Heather Neal. Even with a few good friends having kids with severe food allergies, I learned a few things from the article, so I highly recommend you read it.