Teal Pumpkin Project

FOOD ALLERGIES MAKE HALLOWEEN EXTRA SCARY FOR SOME By Liz Gunn || I can’t deny that I love a good awareness campaign. I especially love one that brings to light an issue that people are unaware of or uneducated about. This one hits especially close to home. Two of my…


liz gunnBy Liz Gunn || I can’t deny that I love a good awareness campaign. I especially love one that brings to light an issue that people are unaware of or uneducated about. This one hits especially close to home.

Two of my three nieces, four and nearly two years old, have food allergies. They’re allergic to milk and eggs; these are two of the hardest things to avoid, especially for someone under the age of five. Read your labels – you might be surprised at all the things you eat that has one or both of these in them, even some brands of chewing gum!

They were both born with these allergies so it isn’t as if they know what they’re missing, so to speak. But my sister, on the other hand, always has to be prepared for any situation where someone else is offering food to her children; birthday parties, play dates, any meal at a restaurant and of course – Halloween.

Most of us probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of Halloween candy to buy. We either buy what’s on sale or what we like in hopes that there is a little leftover. Many children though, can’t eat some of their hard earned loot thanks to food allergies – peanut and milk allergies are the prime suspects.

One in thirteen children in the United States has a food allergy, and the number has risen by 50 percent in just the last fifteen years.  It’s almost impossible not to know someone who is affected by them.

Halloween is all about being scary, but in a fun way. Parents of kids with allergies probably can’t think of anything scarier than their little ghost or goblin getting a mouthful of something tricky rather than a treat. Enter the latest, greatest awareness campaign: The Teal Pumpkin Project.

I have a teal pumpkin on my porch. Actually, I have seven pumpkins on my porch – but one is painted teal. And on Friday night it will be front and center so that people know our house is safe for kids with allergies.

The campaign is raising awareness about the dangers of food allergies, while also giving a little peace of mind to the parents of children who have them. The teal pumpkin says, “I’m giving out allergy-free, non-candy treats!” As a young trick-or-treater, one who didn’t have any food allergies, I may not have been as supportive. But as a parent and as someone who has seen first-hand the anxiety food allergies can cause, I think it’s brilliant and I am so happy to be participating.

The campaign was actually started last year by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee. It was so well received that the Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE) decided to take the campaign national this year in hopes of generating more awareness.

There isn’t a child (or adult, really) in the world who really needs three pounds of sticky, gooey, gummy, chocolaty candy. Go to the Dollar Tree and get some stickers, press-on tattoos, spider rings or glow sticks. If you just can’t bear the thought of not giving out candy, consider having some of these non-candy treats on hand and at least handing out peanut-free and milk-free candy.

I can assure you the parents of children with food allergies will be so grateful. So will that little ghost or goblin who always has to forfeit half of his or her stash each year. If you want to read up on the campaign you can do so here.  They also have a printable sign you can use to let people know you have non-candy treats available, in case you can’t manage to turn your pumpkin teal by Friday.

pumpkin teal pumpkin

Liz Gunn is a wife, mom, travel enthusiast, food snob, daydreamer and lifelong Gamecock fan. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.


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shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Great program and great thoughts. I started buying whistles, combs, toys, by the gross from Cromers — the kids loved getting noisemakers, but my neighbors cussed me out for weeks! Kids should enjoy fun times.

jonezora October 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm

My Iast pay, check was 9500dlr working l2 h0urs a week 0nline, My neighb0ur’s sister has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 2o hours a week. l can’t beIieve how easy it was 0nce l tried it 0ut


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idcydm October 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

shifty, do you have someone following you?

BTW I agree kids should be able to enjoy fun times.

Karl October 29, 2014 at 2:42 am

we don’t ever remove anything :D

oldcola October 28, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Wait til some brat chokes to death on one of your 10 cent whistles and see how long it take Joe McColough or Shaheen to serve you. Wrongful death is such an ugly term.

shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Sorry that you had an unhappy childhood. You’re probably the guy that hands out sauerkraut donuts.

CorruptionInColumbia October 29, 2014 at 9:37 am

I used to love those things when I was a kid.

:) October 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm


It’s “Sheheen”, just trying to help.

oldcola October 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Sounds like some kind of Moslem foreigner, however you spell it.

:) October 29, 2014 at 9:27 am

Yea, “F” those friggin Moslem’s too oldcolon!

“Grumpy old men FTW!”

Blowmeupboom October 29, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Yeah, his family is some Lebanese extraction. Not there is anything wrong with that. Just a NO FLY LIST for the Sheheens, on the way to the Bahamas. He looks like he might have on a vest or whatever. Run away, run away!!!!

shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Now ask him if he wants to try Door #2 for Joe’s last name…..

Buz Martin October 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Makes me miss having a Cromers down here. We had one for about 20 years. That was a fun store.

CorruptionInColumbia October 28, 2014 at 9:58 pm

A good friend sent me a funny pic the other day (wish I had the technical skill to post it here). It was a bucket full of condiments such as packs of ketchup, mustard, sauce, mayo, etc. The caption said something about, “Now I know what to give the trick-or-treaters for Halloween”.

shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm

It’s late and I’m sort of dense right now and I don’t get the joke…

CorruptionInColumbia October 28, 2014 at 10:09 pm

It was kind of a meanness joke. The implication was that this person had saved all those little condiment packages all year and they were going to hand them out instead of candy to trick-or-treaters.

shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Haw-haw!! Now I know what to do with the ones in my fridge. Once I thought about marking the dates on them because I really hate to throw anything away. A few days ago I bought an Arby’s Roast Beef at the drive-thru and asked for an extra Horsey Sauce. When I opened it at home the girl had put six packets each of the Horsey and Arby’s Sauces in the bag!

idcydm October 28, 2014 at 10:30 pm

We have more Polynesian sauces from Chick-fa-la than we will ever use.

The Colonel October 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm

These guys are talking about “horsey sauce” but I’m with you Polynesian sauce is da bomb – I don’t think you can have to much. On the fries, on the sandwich, in the marinade I use on pork….

CorruptionInColumbia October 28, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Hang on to the Horsey Sauce packs, man. That is good stuff. Used to be hard to get them to give you those. I used to request Horsey Sauce with my roast beef sandwiches and invariably, I would get home and find none in the bag. One day I pulled up at the drive thru speaker in my home town and asked a question of the ladies inside. I asked if the Horsey Sauce had gold or cocaine as a content. They laughed and said “No”, then asked why I wanted to know. I explained that every Arby’s I went to, I requested a packet and the last six times, they had neglected to give me any. Never had any trouble getting it after that.

shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 10:39 pm

You’re right on it because (maybe 2 years ago) I had the same experiences. There must have been a national shortage of Horsey Sauce (which is great on a variety of foods).

Bible Thumper October 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I can support this as long as football players don’t start wearing teal shoes and no one ask me to wear a teal ribbon or pour ice water on my head.

shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Remember — it doesn’t count if there ARE NO ICE CUBES in the bucket..!!

shifty henry October 28, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Liz, glad to see you back in the neighborhood!

Buz Martin October 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Glad to see they’re being nice to you, Liz. This is important stuff, in my opinion. Thanks for writing and submitting it to FITS. Y’all wimmins help to civilize us all up in heah.
And lord knows, we need all the help with that we can get.

9" October 29, 2014 at 1:23 am

I always give the little whining brats,chocolate ex-lax.

Thank you Chester the Molester October 29, 2014 at 9:30 am

That’s only so you can lubricate their rears.

SC Political Digest October 29, 2014 at 7:56 am


Simple Answer October 29, 2014 at 8:11 am

Thanks for bringing attention to this. It’s a great campaign. My child has a severe peanut allergy. You are so right about bday parties, restaurants, holidays, etc. It’s a daily feat to keep him safe. I will be offering peanut-free and non-food treats this Halloween.

Snicker Bar October 29, 2014 at 8:37 am

My kids want some damn peanuts in their chocolate. If you have a food allergy best to re-think the plan to go around begging with a pillow case. Pretty soon people will be giving out packets of flax seed. How did all of the sudden half the kids in the US have food allergies. It isn’t like we had all these unsolved deaths back in the 70’s and 80’s. Kids, just falling out on the cafeteria floor during school from eating some gluten. I remember it now, the ambulances just lined up everywhere to take these kids away.

Guest October 29, 2014 at 10:44 am

How hard is it to throw some toys in with the candy? Geez. Try watching your kid sit by himself every day at lunch or having a different treat for the 23 other birthdays in the class. Yes, my kid can die from it. Had two epi-pen shots and trips to the emergency room because others didn’t take it seriously. It’s not a choice for us. It’s life or death. It’s also a polite thing to do for kids that have diabetes, etc. Yes, there are kids with medical conditions beyond our control.

Snicker Bar October 29, 2014 at 4:52 pm

That is real. The point was that so many people have piled on the multitude of allergies that it actually calcifies attitudes towards the very real and dangerous ones. Watching a child suffer is extremely difficult and Liz makes a good point. Just trying to lighten the mood a bit.

Guest October 30, 2014 at 11:22 am

Agreed. The newest trend of avoiding gluten without doctor’s advice is annoying.

Too many specialists October 29, 2014 at 8:42 am

My daughter, at the urging of my nosey mother-in-law, began seeing an allergist at age 10. Every month I would take her to get a shot that she badly dreaded. The allergist, who is quite busy and has 7 doctors under his roof, told me that she would out-grow most of the allergies. When I asked how long it would take he replied “oh, usually around age 18”. I pointed out that this was very convenient since she would be heading off to college and I seriously doubted that she would haul her little ass back to the upstate once a month for a shot. His reply was, yeah, I guess you gwot me dare.
Little Asian fucker is a modern day medicine man and my old lady just sucks that shit up. The daughter, she was miraculously cured the day she graduated from high school.

Guest October 29, 2014 at 10:48 am

Try learning about food allergies before you post. Not the same kind of allergy you are referring to.

HorseShit October 29, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Now you are being a bitch. This guy diagnoses everything from peanut to Bermuda grass. He even told us that she was “mildly allergic” to peanut. I know what a peanut allergy can do because I have a relative that suffers the same fate. I also know that you can’t throw a doughnut across a classroom without hitting someone with Celiac’s disease. If my daughter were allergic to peanuts she would have been dead years ago – this guy is a fear mongering quack. Because he has an MD after his name people are eager to pay up so they can tell everybody that they have an allergy of some kind.

Guest October 30, 2014 at 11:43 am

Not true. You can have a mild peanut allergy without anaphylaxis. Depends on which type of protein in the peanut you are allergic to. It’s possible to test positive for a food allergy and never have a reaction. A new peanut component test came out a few years ago. My child had it. We discovered that he was highly allergic to the proteins that cause anaphylaxis. A sitter accidentally allowed him to have a mini snickers bar when he was two. Dang if the doctor and test weren’t right. She freaked out and got me, because he was on the floor with stomach pain, lethargy, and bloodshot eyes. He had an anaphylactic reaction that required an epi-pen and visit to the ER. True….there are some that self-diagnose and overreact to a problem they don’t have. But, it is a absolutely real problem for some.

Simple Answer October 29, 2014 at 10:51 am

Let me guess… made fun of mentally-handicapped children in school, didn’t you?

Bite me October 29, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Hell, I didn’t have any in my class. Even my school. Sorry you weren’t so lucky.

willblogformoney October 29, 2014 at 10:01 am

Guess i’ll go back to giving apples with razor blades hidden inside

shifty henry October 29, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Go to Dollar General and buy all of their “Sticky Eyes” ($1 each) — they have two sets in purple and orange. Take them out of the pack and give them out individually. They really are sticky (should be called “icky”), and you can throw them against walls, cars, etc. Just for fun, you understand.

FastEddy23 October 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Liz: You might try milk from Jersey cows … reportedly to have fewer allergic reactions, especially among children:

shifty henry October 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I’ve just been reminded of the Halloween when I gave out harmonicas as treats (the kids did get candy treats from the rest of the family) – in fact, if I re-read my divorce papers, this incident may have been mentioned.

Beartrkkr October 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm

I will be handing out extra gluten coated peanuts and pecans with egg nog milkshakes this year.


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