Kate is an incredibly picky eater.
Or rather, a “selective” eater, as the nutritionist on her cleft palate team has corrected me.
She currently has about five foods on rotation for breakfast and lunch, and spends most family dinners squirming in her seat and singing songs instead of eating what I’ve prepared.
She informed me a few months ago that she wants a Frozen-themed birthday party when she turns five (three months from now) and has been brainstorming party ideas ever since. One of her ideas is to serve carrots for food since Olaf’s nose is a carrot.
“That’s a great idea, Kate!” I exclaimed…”but you don’t even eat carrots.”
I considered this a great opportunity to talk to her about goal setting and suggested she set a goal of liking carrots by her 5th birthday. “It’ll be easy!” I urged. “You can have one bite of a carrot today, two bites tomorrow, three bites the next day, and before you know it your mouth will love carrots so much you’ll be asking for them at every meal!”
Kate considered this plan for a handful of seconds before she countered, “What if I’m allergic to carrots?”
She’s a quick one.
We’ve been so lucky that Kate hasn’t had any allergic reactions to food, but it is so commonplace among our friends’ kids and Kate’s classmates that she’s fully aware that allergies = food that is off limits. Kate might’ve been wishing she was allergic to carrots, but the reality is nobody likes dealing with allergies. Having a food allergy – or several – means only getting to eat certain foods at the birthday party, possibly having to say no to that cupcake all the other kids are gobbling up, turning down the team snack after soccer practice, and – at Halloween time – having to toss out some of that coveted trick-o-treating candy.
But not anymore!
The Teal Pumpkin Project, created by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), is a trick-o-treating concept geared toward children with allergies – and it’s sweeping the nation. The concept is simple:
- Buy low cost non-food items to hand out for Halloween (pencils, stickers, etc.).
- Paint a pumpkin teal.
- Set it by your front door as a sign that you have non-food treats available for all the little goblins, ghouls, and Princess Elsa’s with food allergies that come knocking.
When I first heard about this concept I was so excited to be a part of it, and once I explained it to Kate she was equally as eager to join in the fun. So we grabbed a pumpkin and teal paint, hit Target’s dollar section, and joined the Teal Pumpkin Project!
To start, we taped off the stem of our pumpkin to keep it paint-free, as Kate wielded her brush.
You can cover your pumpkin in any kind of teal you’d like. Kate and I chose this fun metallic craft paint for a little shine. It’s “Peacock Pearl” from DecoArt’s Dazzling Metallics line.
This was such a fun little DIY project for us to do, and a great way to teach her that allergies are no joke.
For our Teal Pumpkin Project treats we chose Halloween pencils, little pony figurines, squishy spiky balls, and glow-in-the-dark fangs:
Set your teal pumpkin outside where trick-o-treators will be able to see it on Halloween, and post this sign to let kids and parents know you have non-food items available:
Now we’re all set for Halloween for every little cutie who rings our bell! Won’t you join us?
(Psst – If we ring your bell feel free to give my daughter carrots.)
Like this project? Check out the All Things G&D DIY Gallery!