Teal Pumpkin Project
Today is Halloween but trick-or-treating is already over for us. Our township held trick-or-treating last Thursday night. Unusual I thought. I'm just glad I found out before Thursday, otherwise I wouldn't have had any treats to hand out!
This was the first Halloween in which we offered trick-or-treaters organic candy as well as non-sweet treats for the Teal Pumpkin Project. Many parents appreciated this very much. I think many parents are becoming more concerned with the huge consumption of refined sugar in children's diets as well as the growing number of food allergies and sensitivities. At least a handful of parents told me their children had some type of intolerance. Rice, nuts, dairy, and gluten were mentioned as problematic for their children.
What I learned from participating in the project is that it's not all about the candy. The children were excited to be given other options besides candy. We had a number of toys and even clementines in our Halloween bucket. The kids loved the simple glow-in-the-dark eyeball bouncy balls, the colorful bat and ghost ink stamps, and the Halloween inspired bubble wands. And all but one clementine was grabbed out of a bag of twenty. I was thrilled!
The Teal Pumpkin Project appealed to me because my son and I deal with food sensitivities. So surely we had to make this happen in our household.
Last week my little boy had to be withdrawn from the rest of his class not because he was misbehaving but because his class was celebrating a classmate's birthday with cupcakes. He cannot have gluten and refined sugar among other things. The teachers and I felt bad for him but it was for the best.
Preparing and cooking meals in our household is a challenge as we all have different diets. My husband has no dietary restrictions but he is the only one. Among the foods that Constantine and I avoid are gluten, dairy, refined sugar, eggs, nightshades (peppers, eggplants, tomatoes), and more. I have at least twenty-eight sensitivities and my boy has twenty-three. Thankfully, we do not have food allergies so even if we eat a little of these foods they are not life threatening.
All of this food sensitivity business began with my ongoing chronic fatigue. My functional medicine doctor recommended a plethora of specialized tests to get to the bottom of my health issues. One of these tests is called the IgG food sensitivity test. I am so happy that I had it done and got the test results because it helps take out the guess work in figuring the cause of inflammation in the gut. Since making changes to my diet and avoiding the foods listed on the IgG test, I am feeling so much better.
You can help spread the word of the Teal Pumpkin Project by participating. It is really simple. Go online and print out a sign for your door. Paint a pumpkin or two with teal colored paint. (We went to Lowe's, picked a teal paint and bought a small jar and paint brush.) We also chose to purchase candy online at ThriveMarket.com since they carry healthy and yummy candy options. We got the organic lollipops; 40 pieces for less than $5. We also got some fun and cute Halloween toys from our local craft store. That's it -- very simple and inexpensive!
I'm so thankful for the Teal Pumpkin Project as it's a great way to help raise awareness of food allergies and sensitivities and to make Halloween fun for every child. My little boy had a blast giving away Halloween treats both sweet and non sweet. And he had his share of homemade gluten free, refined sugar free, and dairy free bat morsel treats!