Two Teens And Their Mama: The Teal Pumpkin Project

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Teal Pumpkin Project


I have been very fortunate - neither of my boys has any food allergies.  Both of them wish they were allergic to brussel sprouts, but no such luck.  

One of my older son's best friends, however, has a life threatening peanut allergy.  M carries an epipen with him wherever he goes, and when he was younger and came to spend the night, I always made sure I knew exactly where it was.

The first year M went trick or treating with my son, he couldn't eat 90% of the candy they collected.  As everyone spread their loot on the floor, counting chocolate bars and making trades, M poked through his bag, looking for the few pieces of hard candy that he could eat.  It made me really sad.  

The next Halloween, I decided to give out small toys instead of candy.  I went to the dollar store and bought spider rings, stickers, bouncy balls and colorful pencils.  My "treats" were a hit with the neighborhood kids, and I have continued the tradition.

So I was excited to read recently about the Teal Pumpkin Project, where people are encouraged to place a teal colored pumpkin on their porch to show that they offer non food items to trick or treaters.  The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) website also has a flyer you can download to place by your front door.

When I was little I didn't know anyone who had serious allergies.  But today, one in thirteen children has food allergies, and there has been a significant increase in life threatening allergies in the last ten years.

If you'd like to participate, paint a teal pumpkin or download a flyer from FARE. Dollar stores or websites like Oriental Trading Company have tons of little toys that won't break the bank - some of them are even cheaper than candy!



As an added bonus - you won't have bags of candy left over, waiting for you to eat them yourself.  Personally, I miss the peanut butter cups and Hershey miniatures - but the bouncy balls are fun to play with!

Linking up with Motivation Monday

26 comments:

  1. I just heard about this on the news this morning. I don't have younger kids, or kids with food allergies, but this is such a great idea.

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    1. I thought so too - so glad creative people come up with these great ideas!

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  2. I'm sharing this every way I know how today! Thanks for bringing awareness of a helpful tip to this widespread concern! I had never heard of the Teal Pumpkin project - but what a great idea.
    Sadly, we rarely get any trick-or-treaters because the houses are so spread out where we live. One year 2 carfuls came with about a dozen kids - and that was probably the most we have ever had. I usually have one bag of candy on hand, just-in-case... and it is always best for me if it is not miniature Hershey bars or PB cups as they are my favorite as well!

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    1. Thanks Susan! It's hit or miss at our house - sometimes we have tons of kids and other years hardly any. It really depends on the weather. At least with the toys I can just save them for next year.

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  3. OMG...I feel terrible! I've always been major contributor to tooth decay, heart disease, diabetes and anaphalaxis by giving out the ever popular FULL size candy bars! I usually have a side bowl of tattoos and toys but most pass on that bowl for the candy bars. Maybe I should not give the kids a choice anymore despite the neighborhood wrath I may receive? Would that be the better choice?

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    1. Well gosh....I didn't mean to make you feel bad. I don't think this is meant as a substitute for candy (that was just a personal choice on my part because of my son's friend). I mean, Halloween is all about the candy :)! The teal pumpkin idea is just in addition to candy, so kids with allergies can still trick or treat. Keep giving out the big bars - I know my kids loved them!

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    1. I thought so too - plus teal is such a pretty color!

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  5. Such a cool idea, the teal pumpkin is like a welcome mat to kids with allergies!

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  6. This is very cool!
    We won't need to do it because we don't get ANY trick-or-treaters. We're on a main road, but built up a long driveway into a clearing in the woods. People don't know we live here.
    That's good.. but.. I miss trick-or-treaters!

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    1. I would miss them too. I love seeing all the kids dressed up.

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  7. This is such a great idea. When my kids were little it seems you didn't hear about nearly as much as now. I wonder why that is. We moved from the country and I mean 17 miles to the nearest store to get milk kind of country so when we moved to this house last October I went all out. I couldn't wait to get trick or treaters. Not one, none, nada we ate it ALL. There are only a few houses on our road with only one child and he said he's to old for that...he's all of 12!

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    1. I'm sorry you don't get any trick or treaters! There are so many theories as to why allergies have gotten so bad, but I don't think there are any definitive answers.

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  8. What a great idea!! my son is in college so we are done with trick or treating and he never had any food allergies we knew of...but I am glad something is being done about this as it is so dangerous not knowing what you are eating.
    Nora
    www.jacketsociety.com

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    1. This is a great alternative for those kids with allergies.

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  9. OMG I've never heard of the teal pumpkin project but my son is allergic to nuts and peanuts!!! We usually put out two bowls of candy while we're trick-or-treating - one regular candy and one with nut-free treats, including toys. But I think this is BRILLIANT and will so make a teal pumpkin this year! Thank you for this. Seriously I'd never heard of it before!!!

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    1. I hope you post a picture of your pumpkins - I would love to see them!

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  10. This is a great idea and very thoughtful one since more and more kids these days have some kind of an allergy. Plus I really do like how that teal pumpkin looks like!

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  11. I love the idea of this, never seen a teal pumpkin before!

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  12. What a thoughtful idea! There are so many kids out there with food allergies and I'm sure all kids would like to get some fun little toys instead of candy. Thanks for sharing!

    Jill
    www.dousedinpink.com

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    1. Most of the kids who come to my door like the toys - I've only had a few who ask where the candy is :)!

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  13. Thanks for sharing about the Teal Pumpkin Project. I wrote about this on my blog this week as well. As the mom of a child with a peanut/tree nut allergy, I really appreciate any and all efforts to bring awareness. If you're looking for ideas for allergy friendly treats, I have a list over on my post. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thank you - I will put them on my Google + page. Such an important effort!

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