Thank you to our guest blogger Jennifer O'Donnell!
Perhaps you have seen teal-colored pumpkins on the doorsteps of your neighbors or in your local craft store? Your eyes are not tricking you...it's actually a very clever way for all children to be able to enjoy a Halloween treat!
The Teal Pumpkin Project stems from an awareness program led by a food allergy mom in Tennessee. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), it has now grown across all 50 states and to 14 countries around the world. This initiative has been warmly welcomed by not only food allergy families but also within the diabetes, celiac, and eosinophilic disease communities.
Halloween is a much-anticipated day for young children. For those with life-threatening food allergies, it can be a disappointing and worrisome time of year. Trick-or-treating house to house, children with food allergies are not able to accept many candy treats due to the risk of cross contamination or ingredients that could cause a severe allergic reaction. Many are left to go home empty-handed and feeling apart from the festivities.
So what is the purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project? FARE sums it up well:
"The Teal Pumpkin Project is designed to promote safety, inclusion, and respect of individuals managing food allergies - and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all."
How can I participate? Three easy steps!
1. Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. Anything works! Glow sticks, bubbles, stickers, etc.
2. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate that you have non-food treats available. Paint your own or find them ready-to-go in many local craft stores or online.
3. Display a free printable sign from foodallergy.org to help spread awareness.
There are an estimated 1 in 13 children in the United States with food allergies so there are likely a few on your block who would appreciate your participation. Helping children have a fun and safe Halloween...there is nothing scary about it!
Learn more about:
· Teal Pumpkin Project at www.tealpumpkinproject.org
· Food Allergies at www.foodallergy.org
· Type 1 Diabetes at www.jdrf.org
· Eosinophic Disease at www.curedfoundation.org
· Celiacs Disease at www.celiac.org
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