A couple of weeks ago, Ashton Kutcher tweeted this:
And my heart skipped a beat. Why? Because people are starting to catch on to the Teal Pumpkin Project.
As a mom to a small child with profound food allergies, I get a little terrified around the holidays. Halloween is the beginning of a challenging food season for our family. Seasonal treats are everywhere, and impossible to ignore. As a healthy adult who tries to avoid sugar and can’t tolerate wheat, I find it hard to abstain. It’s an issue of willpower for me. But for my son? It’s a matter of life and death, or at minimum, a trip to the ER. All that separates him from a potential terrible reaction is our vigilance and the respect of strangers.
I would like to say my son is part of a small group of children, but he’s not. Food allergies in children have increased exponentially in the last 15 years, and now 1 in 13 children has some form of diagnosed food allergy here in the U.S. Those numbers are only rising.
Peanut allergies get a lion’s share of the food allergy talk, as it should. Some people are so sensitive to peanuts that even a trace of peanut dust can kill them. Unfortunately, peanuts are not the only food that cause deathly reactions from trace amounts. Wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, oats, cinnamon, bananas, peppermint, and many others are just a few that have serious consequences for those who are allergic.
Because we want to keep our kids safe, but also include them, we are joining the Teal Pumpkin Project this year. Here’s how you can join us:
- Paint a pumpkin teal, and put it on your doorstep with your other pumpkins. Kids with food allergies know they can come to your house and get a safe treat, and THEY WILL!
- Offer trick-or-treaters a choice of candy or non-food treats. Kids with food allergies are often singled out for something they can’t control, and feel excluded and embarrassed because of their allergies. Giving all the kids a choice makes it easier for them to be safe during Halloween festivities without shame.
I know some of you amazing, non-allergy friends want to participate but might not know what give out instead of candy. This is a new-ish thing, so I’m putting together a handy little guide to help you navigate your Teal Pumpkin Halloween.
Please feel free to grab this image and share it! Keep it handy and ask questions here or over at FARE. They’re the geniuses behind #tealpumpkinproject and we are so happy to support this awesome movement.
Also, don’t worry about getting the color exactly right or painting it pretty. The message is the most important part! Thank you for keeping our kids safe this season
Funny Tricks and Food-Free Treats,