H is for Holidays: Let’s Talk About Teal Pumpkins
This is a sponsored post. Oriental Trading provided me with these products for review. All opinions are 100% my own. Find my full disclosure here.
If I asked you to name three colors that you associate with Halloween you would probably be able to answer my question quite easily. Orange, black, and yellow. Purple, green and orange. But, teal? Teal is probably not a color that you quickly associate with the Halloween holiday. So why have more and more teal pumpkins been popping up the last few years as part of Halloween decorations and displays? We are going to talk more about these teal pumpkins, but first let me share with you a little about my own childhood experience with Halloween.
When I was about 2 years old, my mom noticed that I started developing a little red rash around my mouth after mealtimes. As she investigated the cause of this seemingly innocent rash, she discovered that it only seemed to happen after she had fed me a little peanut butter on toast. Each time the rash occurred it became a little worse until my mom realized that we had a serious problem. You guessed it…. I was allergic to peanuts.
My mom immediately stopped feeding me peanut butter and sought medical advice. She asked family, friends, preschool teachers and Sunday school classes to make sure that I didn’t eat or touch anything associated with peanuts or peanut butter. Unfortunately, in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, severe peanut allergies were not as common as they are today and most people, including some immediate family members, did not believe her. So I continued to be exposed to peanuts and my allergic reactions increased in intensity. Full body hives, itchy mouth and tongue, swollen lips, swollen face and tongue, vomiting, difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis, and many trips to the ER. Terrifying for me and terrifying for my parents.
And how does this relate to Halloween, you ask? Well, as a child, Halloween was a very frightening holiday for me. And not frightening in the spooky, scary, playfully fun way it is supposed to be. I had to be extremely careful about Halloween treats for fear that one might trigger a life threatening allergic reaction. I still remember the feeling of going up to a door for trick or treat and seeing a big basket of peanut butter candy. A feeling of both worry and disappointment. My parents did the best they could by still allowing me to trick or treat but with strict guidelines. I could eat no treats while out and about, and my entire bag of candy was to be given to them immediately upon coming home so that they could sort it and decide what was safe and what was not. For each piece of candy that was confiscated, they replaced it with a piece of safe candy for our own treat bowl. This was a good compromise, but it still took away from the experience. Aside from their concern about my health and well-being, I think my parents secretly enjoyed dividing up and eating all the Snickers bars, Butterfingers and Reeces peanut butter cups that I had brought home! Ha!
So why are we seeing more and more teal pumpkins at Halloween time over the last few years? It is because of an initiative called the Teal Pumpkin Project which is raising awareness about children with food allergies and encouraging households to offer non-candy, allergy friendly treats as an alternative. It warms my heart to think children who have life-threatening allergies like mine can feel a little less anxious on Halloween night and fully participate in this fun holiday again. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a national campaign promoted by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) to ensure that all children can experience the fun and excitement of Halloween. 2016 will be the third year of the Teal Pumpkin Project and it is growing every year. In 2015, households in all 50 states and internationally participated in this movement. Pretty cool, huh?
How do I participate in The Teal Pumpkin Project, you might wonder? There are 4 simple ways: 1) Provide non-candy, allergy friendly treats to your trick-or-treaters, 2) Display a teal pumpkin on your porch or in your yard Halloween night to indicate that you are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, 3) Post a free printable flier or sign that provides more information about the project, and/or 4) Make a donation to support the Teal Pumpkin Project. More information and free downloadable signs and fliers are available at http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project/about.
Non-Candy, Allergy Friendly Treats
All of my non-candy, allergy friendly treats and my teal pumpkin came from Oriental Trading this year. They offer a huge selection of great products at affordable prices. I have included a list of the products I used with links for your convenience. Check out this basket full of fun!
If you have never visited the Oriental Trading site, you are missing out on a great resource for all your party and holiday needs. From toys and games to party decorations and tableware to costumes and crafts, Oriental Trading has something for everyone! Check out their amazing Halloween Headquarters for all things Halloween. Still undecided about a great costume for this year? Oriental Trading has you covered there too with a great selection of Halloween Costumes for everyone from babies to adults to couples to pets. Lastly, if you need some additional inspiration this Halloween, Oriental Trading has a dedicated Halloween page full of recipes, coloring pages, pumpkin carving ideas, crafts and more. Find it at http://www.freefunhalloween.com/. Be sure to check out all these great resources!
I first heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project last fall and thought it was such an amazing idea. As I took my own children out trick-or-treating, I was impressed to see one of our neighbors fully embracing the Teal Pumpkin Project. Although I am lucky that my own children do not share my severe peanut allergy, I pledged to fully participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween. I would love it if you would commit to participating this year as well as I know there are many children out there who will benefit from this simple gesture. Thank you for your consideration. I hope to see lots and lots of teal pumpkins proudly displayed on Halloween night. And now when you are asked to name three colors that are associated with the Halloween holiday, you can proudly add the color teal to your list! Wishing you and your family a safe and fun Halloween season this year.
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