Why Are We Painting Our Pumpkin Teal?

Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is a great time of year.  All the kids get so excited about their costumes, going to a Halloween party, marching in their school Halloween Parade and of course eating all the Halloween candy.  But what about those kids that can’t eat halloween candy.  What about them?  Many kids may have to abstain from Trick or Treating because they can not eat the candy safely.  It can be for a variety of reasons.  They may suffer from celiac disease, have a nut allergy,  diabetes, other food allergies and intolerances or they may need to follow a special diet. Why should these children not be able to enjoy the festivities?

But for many years to protect their children from a possible anaphylactic reaction or severe allergic reaction parents would keep them away from this celebrated tradition. Then the campaign called #THETEALPUMPKINPROJECT started.

Last year I saw only 1-2 Teal pumpkins painted in my neighborhood.  It piqued everyone’s curiosity. Many just thought “oh how pretty.”  But what is the purpose?  In 2014 the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)  launched a national campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project™.  The Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.  This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!  This year they have even started an interactive map for houses that are participating in this project offering Non Food items to kids on Halloween.  Teal Pumpkin Project

It seems a daunting task at first.  Many say, “I don’t want to be the house not giving out candy or chocolate, the kids will hate us and egg our front door!”  In reality there are many really cool fun nonfood items that you can hand out.  Kids would love to get glow sticks or glow bracelets.  They will undoubtedly put them on immediately and use them the rest of the night.  Bouncy balls, stickers, tattoos are all great options.  You can find a list of recommended Non Food Halloween Treats here

TPP-Treats-Infographic-Download

To let the neighborhood now that you are participating in this event you can paint your pumpkin teal and also put up one of the FAREs downloadable signs on your window or front door. And YES you can still give out candy if you choose too.

Teal Pumpkin

tppprintposterthumb

 

Here are a few of the FAQ’s about Teal Pumpkin Project:

Can I still pass out candy?
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project™ is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.

For more info on this go to FARES website for Teal Pumpkin Project at TealPumpkinProject.org

So who is going to join me this year in painting their pumpkins Teal?  Please help spread the word about this!!  Share this post and make Halloween a fun experience for every child!!

#TealPumpkinProject #KidsTummyTroubles #FARE #foodallergies

 

Why Are We Painting Our Pumpkin Teal?

Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is a great time of year.  All the kids get so excited about their costumes, going to a Halloween party, marching in their school Halloween Parade and of course eating all the Halloween candy.  But what about those kids that can’t eat halloween candy.  What about them?  Many kids may have to abstain from Trick or Treating because they can not eat the candy safely.  It can be for a variety of reasons.  They may suffer from celiac disease, have a nut allergy,  diabetes, other food allergies and intolerances or they may need to follow a special diet. Why should these children not be able to enjoy the festivities?

But for many years to protect their children from a possible anaphylactic reaction or severe allergic reaction parents would keep them away from this celebrated tradition.  Then the campaign called #THETEALPUMPKINPROJECT started.

Last year I saw only 1-2 Teal pumpkins painted in my neighborhood.  It piqued everyone’s curiosity. Many just thought “oh how pretty.”  But what is the purpose?  In 2014 the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)  launched a national campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project™.  The Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.  This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!Teal Pumpkin Project

It seems a daunting task at first.  Many say, “I don’t want to be the house not giving out candy or chocolate, the kids will hate us and egg our front door!”  In reality there are many really cool fun nonfood items that you can hand out.  Kids would love to get glow sticks or glow bracelets.  They will undoubtedly put them on immediately and use them the rest of the night.  Bouncy balls, stickers, tattoos are all great options.  You can find a list of recommended Non Gift Treats here at FARE’s website.

To let the neighborhood now that you are participating in this event you can paint your pumpkin teal and also put up one of the FAREs downloadable signs on your window or front door. And YES you can still give out candy if you choose too.

Teal Pumpkin

tppprintposterthumb

 

They have some FAQ‘s on their site. Here are a few:

Can I still pass out candy?
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project™ is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.

So who is going to join me this year in painting their pumpkins Teal?  Please help spread the read about this!!  Share this post and make Halloween a fun experience for every child!!

#TealPumpkinProject #KidsTummyTroubles #FARE #foodallergies

 

It’s Fall, that means it’s time for Pumpkin!! Delicious Creamy Pumpkin & Sage Pasta

This weekend was beautiful.  We are finally done with the 90 degree weather and it’s starting to feel like Fall!  So of course that put me in the mood to start decorating.  I pulled out all my Halloween and Fall decor.  The girls had a blast putting the clings on the windows and helping me put out the decorations on the table.  I tend to keep my decorating on the kid friendly side still. Big, bright colors and happy looking figures.  Can’t wait til the girls get older and we can go a bit more scary but for now they love it.

My Fall Table

Once Autumn comes around I also start thinking of all the great things I can make with pumpkin.  I have tried many different sauces to go with my favorite fall dishes.  Many of them include a brown butter sage sauce.  This however is definitely not great for cholesterol with the large amounts of butter they typically call for.  This recipe I love uses pumpkin puree and coconut oil.  It is delicious over your pasta of choice, whether it’s spaghetti or your favorite seasonal ravioli.  And this recipe is Dairy & Gluten free!!

Creamy Pumpkin & Sage Pasta

Creamy Pumpkin & Sage Pasta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree or 1 3/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1.5 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped finely
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound of your favorite gluten free pasta

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute onions until they begin to turn translucent, approximately 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and place onion and garlic mixture in a high speed blender.  Add the pumpkin puree, almond milk, sage, pepper and salt.  Blend until smooth.
  5. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, drain and return pasta to pot.
  6. Add the pumpkin sauce and stir well over medium heat until hot.
  7. Serve immediately.

 

#KidsTummyTroubles #GlutenFree #Celiac #GlutenFreeLiving #Glutendairyfree #Recipes

Helpful Tips for Dry, Itchy Skin

Tips for Dry Skin

Although I am a pediatric gastroenterologist, which means a “Kids Tummy Doctor”,  many of my patients with chronic diseases suffer from dry, itchy skin.  This, if left untreated, can be painful, make children cranky and frustrated and can lead to excessive scratching.  The excessive scratching worsens the problem and can lead to cuts and possible skin infections.  Patients that suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, Short Gut Syndrome or Small Bowel syndrome, Celiac disease, Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy or other allergic colitis conditions can experience this.  It is a multifactorial problem that can stem from poor nutrition and the bodies immune system reacting to the food allergen or is an additional manifestation of their chronic condition.

It is heartbreaking when I see one of my patients, especially the little babies,  so itchy and scratching their legs together to try to get a bit of relief.  Over the years I have compiled a list of helpful hints that I give to my patients and I have found that used together they work.

  • Avoid soap.  Use a non-soap cleanser such as Cetaphil, Cerave or similar products
  • Try Rubbing, vibration or applying pressure instead of scratching.  A good thing to “scratch” with is an ice cube
  • Drink plenty of water or other clear fluids to keep hydrated.  Remember although milk is nutritious it does not count as a hydrating fluid.
  • Apply moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath and do not rub dry with a towel.  Only use the towel to pat dry and take excess water off.
  • Creams are more effective than lotions
  • Apply moisturizer twice a day.  Good options are Aveeno, Eucerin, Lubriderm, or Aquaphor
  • Use only non-perfumed and unscented bath and personal care products
  • Avoid extremely hot showers and baths
  • Take an oatmeal bath to relieve itching and help with relaxation
  • Try baking soda or unscented bath oils for bathing
  • Apply cold packs, wrapped in a cloth to the skin
  • Whenever possible wear loose fitting clothing made from natural products.  This allows the skin to breathe
  • Protect your skin from the sun – wear sunscreen
  • Don’t forget your lips – wear lipbalm with SPF
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Keep room temperature at 60-70 degrees and keep air circulating and ventilated

Hope these are useful and provide some relief for those who need it.  Let me know your thoughts and comments below.

#KidsTummyTroubles #DrySkin #Healthtips #ItchySkin