Thursday, 29 October 2015

Allergies - Halloween, Allergies and the Teal Pumpkin Project

One of the most awesome things about Halloween is that you are able to become whatever you want.  It's like career shadowing on steroids because you actually can be Batman, or a tiger or a box of cereal.  It's a big, exciting, marathon game of dress-up and everyone is invited.  As a kid I always appreciated that we were all doing the same thing and able to compliment cool costumes no matter what our social group was, and no one was ever left out of participating.

The Flying Bats Pumpkin

When I first heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project I was intrigued.  This initiative was launched in 2014 as a campaign by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) to raise awareness and promote inclusion on Halloween.  Essentially you get a pumpkin, paint it teal and then print a sign that you can download from FARE that indicates that you have non-food treats available for those who ask.  This allows children who have severe allergies or can't eat candy an opportunity to participate in the Trick or Treating experience.

The Piranha Pumpkin

Thankfully the minions don't have any allergies that we know of yet (unless you count listening and a slight allergic reaction to dog hair). I can only imagine how difficult managing severe allergies must be for many parents and in turn the kids, especially when it comes to holidays and events where food is a main focus, like Halloween.

In 2014, 50 states and 7 countries participate in The Teal Pumpkin Project.  We usually get 100-150 kids at our door every Halloween, and this year we will be participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project and give out non-food treats for anyone who asks.

Teal Pumpkin Project
Our first Teal Pumpkin after the first coat of paint...I was going for a minion, but it looks a little more like Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants.

Image Courtesy of  Fanpop

Want to participate and need non-food ideas? Here are some that might work for you (available at most discount/dollar stores):

  • Blowing Bubbles Kits
  • Funky Pencils or Erasers
  • Glow sticks or bracelets
  • Stickers or temporary tattoos
  • Rubber balls
  • Colouring books
  • Crayons
  • Balloons
Happy Halloween!

Looking for some creative ways to curb the post Halloween Candy Overload, consider these!

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