I think that one of every parent's greatest fears is that their children will have food allergies. It was for me, at least. From the moment Penelope began eating solid foods, I worried over everything she ate and whether or not she would have an allergic reaction. I even debated giving her peanut butter for the first time while parked outside the doctor's office. Though we've been fortunate in that she hasn't had any food reactions to a lot of those key allergic trigger foods (nuts, strawberries, wheat, eggs, dairy), I still worry sometimes when she tries something new or when she inadvertently eats a wasabi cracker and I spend the ride home from my aunt's house convinced that she might not be breathing in the back seat...
I imagine that for those parents and children who do suffer from food allergies, it is very stressful. It is difficult enough to worry about kids in everyday life, but to add food allergies to the list? That's a whole new layer of concern and cannot be easy for parents or their children.
This Halloween, there is a movement to offer non-food Halloween treats so that those children with food allergies can still enjoy the holiday without worry. It's called the Teal Pumpkin Project. To participate, people are encouraged to paint a teal pumpkin and leave on their doorstep, or hang a teal pumpkin sign to signify that the home offers non-food treats.
I really love this idea. While I love chocolate and candy as much as anyone, especially on Halloween, the thought of any children being left out or parents fretting over their kids potentially consuming dangerous food or candy is really upsetting to me. I will happily participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween and plan to offer both candy and glow stick bracelets for our trick-or-treaters. Something tells me that kids will have just as much fun with the glow sticks as with any mini Snickers bar, and it will last a whole lot longer too. How fun will it be to wear the glow stick bracelets while continuing to trick or treat? Or to walk outside in the evening with the bracelets glowing? I know that Penelope is going to love this, and I bet that lots of other kids will too.
I ordered these glow sticks, a tube of 100 pieces for under $10. You can't beat that, in my opinion! And most importantly, no child gets left out. For more information about the movement, for printable signs to hang on your door, and for even more ideas for non-food treats, check out FoodAllergy.org .
Will you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?
Do your kids, or any kids you know, have food allergies? How do you manage it in these types of situations?