I’ve written before about the Teal Pumpkin, and with Halloween approaching, I figured it was a good time to post a reminder. The teal pumpkin is set out for Trick-or-Treat to let kids know that there are tricks (toys) available at our house in addition to the treats. Even though my brother is allergic to chocolate and both of my kids are lactose intolerant, I never really considered the impact these ingredients might have. But according to an international awareness campaign launched by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-pumpkin-project , food allergies are a life-altering and potentially life-threatening health issue. Many Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy, or wheat, which are some of the most common food allergens. Additionally, many “fun-size” versions may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts.
Non-food treats provide a safe, fun alternative for children with food allergies and other conditions for whom candy may present a problem.” I know that if my brother is exposed to just the tip of a chocolate chip he gets violently ill for days and has to take steroids to recover. I also knew a little boy several years ago who had a milk allergy that was so severe he had to sit at a separate table from the other children at lunch so that milk wouldn’t accidentally get spilled on him. I still think about how lonely that must have been for him. While we haven’t officially started decorating yet, I went online and ordered a teal pumpkin to set outside our front door for Trick or Treat. It comes with a sign to let kids know that at our house they have their choice between candy (treats) or toys (tricks). I also went to a site online which is known for their prizes and toys and ordered a selection of toys. Next, we will have our yearly spirited discussion about what kind of candy to get. That is always interesting.
September is also Hunger Awareness month, so drop off a can of soup or tuna at your local food bank or shelter. Think of it as a hug that you can give to someone who needs it.
“The biggest lie we tell ourselves everyday is that we have nothing to give. It only takes a moment to be of service to someone else.” Josh Denny