Monday, October 13, 2014

Throwing in the Teal Pumpkin

So, this is going to start off with an apology.

I am sorry for all of the times that I said that nut allergy restrictions on school foods were stupid.

I will not be apologizing for the stink fit I threw with regards to Cody's 5th Grade Halloween Party where "healthy" snack options like fruit salad and pretzels were mandated for the class party.  That was just stupid and had nothing to do with kids with allergies and more to do with Michelle Obama.


This year I'm throwing in the Teal Pumpkin.

FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) has come up with the Teal Pumpkin Project.  It is encouraging people to offer non-food items as treats for Halloween this year for children who have food allergies.

Why now, after my long standing stance of food allergy parents being complete psychos about food, thus not allowing me to fulfill my dreams of being the room mom who brought homemade baked goods to every stinking school party and participated in bake sales with items that I made and did not come with an ingredient list label?

Because I have become that mom.

Do you know how hard it is to find gluten free, soy free and dairy free anything?

Like, really hard.

I have the luxury of having a child with a food allergy who is older.  I can, and have, told him that if he eats anything that I don't give him he can stop breathing and die.  I know, it's extreme, but it's the course we are on until we can pinpoint what exactly he is allergic to.  Plus, I don't expect people to cater to my kids weird dietary restrictions, we pack our own food wherever we go.

But, I get it.  I know how hard it is now.  I know how scary it can be.

Plus, I love Halloween.  It's like my favorite holiday and I want not only my child to enjoy it, but everyone.  And, if that means that I have to go to Target and get a jumbo box of Halloween tattoos to hand out as a non-food option, then that's what I'm going to do.  I'm also going to print the flier from the Teal Pumpkin Project and tape it to my front door and make a cardboard teal pumpkin to put by the end of our driveway so that trick-or-treaters can see it from the street corner.

I don't know how widespread this project will be this year.  I don't know if any of the parents who have kids with food allergies in my neighborhood even know that this exists.  But, I will do my part to help spread the word and inform them, and I will hopefully help a little kid who can't have candy enjoy Halloween a little more this year.

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