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The Teal Pumpkin Project
Halloween Lesson Plan on Allergies and Food Safety

What do you think about the Teal Pumpkin Project? We participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project last year and will be participating again this year. This project was started by FARE in 2014 to create a safer Halloween for all kids, including those with food allergies. This project was inspired by Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET). tealpumpkin1

I think this is a great opportunity to teach everyone, including children about the importance of handling food safely and cross contamination. I have seen many postings on Facebook about how they will participate and I think that it is wonderful. I also think that it is important to educate yourself and your family about what that really means.

I have seen things such as “we intend to hand out skittles” or “we do not have any thing that contains nuts”. In reality this does not cover the gamut of food allergies that are out there today. Even just eliminating the top eight food allergies will not cover everything. My daughter has a food dye allergy and skittles would be out for her. Last year we provided three bowls: one with regular treats, one with non-food items such as stickers, pencils and small toys and one with our favorite Yum-earth organic pops. My daughter assisted me in preparing the bowls and we discussed why things couldn’t be mixed together. She also helped me hand things out and asked the kids if they needed an allergy safe option. So this year we will not only participate, we have taken the pledge! If you would like to take the Teal Pumpkin Pledge and get more valuable information on this you can follow this link: http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.Viq6GCvF9X0

I do not feel anyone should ever feel obligated to participate and we will trick-or-treat each house whether they have teal pumpkin or not. We appreciate those that do participate in this wonderful project as we have a friend with a very severe peanut allergy. We want our daughter to learn at a young age what she can and cannot have. She is already great at asking about ingredients and letting people know that she can’t have certain things. For her this includes not only certain foods but also products such as lotion, lip gloss, soap and even face paint. Although her allergy is not as severe as some nut allergies, she does break out and vomit when exposed to certain food dyes.

We have created a small lesson plan to help kids understand food allergies. In addition we recommend the following book: The No Biggie Bunch Trade-or-Treat Halloween by Heather Mehra (Author), Kerry McManama (Author), Michael Kline (Illustrator)


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