• Sophie Ward

The Teal Pumpkin Project. Enjoy Halloween. Food Allergy Stats & Awareness. Please Accommodate.

Hi guys,

With Halloween less than a week away now I just want to raise some awareness and talk about what I plan to do.

At first I didn't really think about treats and snacks and the children themselves until I came across the TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT where the body of food allergies are trying to promote home owners to show children if and which households have a stock of allergy free treats to offer them. I think this is an amazing idea and we need to get as many people on board. You can simply place a sign explaining you have allergy free treat available or if you want some fun, paint a pumpkin a teal blue and place it outside your door.

Here are a few stats that really open your eyes and makes you really realise we need to wake up. They are truly shocking!

With 150 million people in Europe suffering from food allergies and 6-8% of children have a proven allergy these stats are alarming and we as a society need to be more educated and accommodating.

Over 20,000 people a year are admitted to hospital with allergic reactions and will 10 million adults suffering from more than 1 allergen it is very hard to cater for everyone and their food needs/requirements. Whether this is at a meal out, a gathering at home, travelling etc.

U.K. hospital admissions for food allergies has increased by 500% since 1990!!

50% of children suffer from one or more allergens that they begin suffering with in the first 18 years of their lives.

£68 million is spent within the health industry due to hospital admissions for food allergies cases.

The U K is in the top 3 countries in the world with the highest food allergy incident rate.

Reading this article and I have only picked out the biggest facts for you- there were so many more. These were enough to make me think. I know I want to enjoy Halloween and eat treats etc but I hadn't thought about the children who will be knocking at my door.

I know how I would feel as a 7 year old going out with my mates trick or treating and simply having to turn down all the treats offered because you didn't know what was in them, if they were safe or knowing you can't have them, returning home with an empty bowl watching all your friends eat their goodies! It would be soul crushing!!! And you would dread events like Halloween, Easter, Xmas because these events would isolate you and would get into the mind set of you not been able to enjoy these fun times of the year. As a 7 year old when these times are supposed to be magical I feel this can only do permanent damage to their confidence and childhood memories.

So all my trick or treat snacks will be allergy-free. They may contain soy and nuts but there will be no wheat, gluten, egg, dairy or yeast. I don't want to be someone to cause upset nor do I want to see a sad, upset child's face as his/her friends go crazy and dig their hands into the bowl of goodies and them standing there just waiting to move on to the next door, simply dressing up and going out with their friends to not miss out.

Everyone deserves to have fun and enjoy treats.

So that's my aim this Halloween- all allergy-free treats.

I am not saying you all have to spend time shopping in Holland and Barrett for products or spend all day cooking (Unless you want to of course ). By any means stock up on your fave sweets but just have a few allergy free options available, and ask the children when they come to the door if they have any allergies.

A few ideas -

* Nak'd bars - you can get the chocolate flavour ones in a pack of four. They are big enough for one per person and to a child it will be like being given a chocolate bar.

*Goody's Good Stuff Sweets- found in most supermarkets and in eight flavours these are an easy go to treat.

* Cuba Libre Chocolates - these are a little pricey but the quality is good. They come in packs of five chocolates.

* Homemade energy balls. Easy and quick, you can make them any flavour. See my Sophantastic Allergy-Free Creation book on Amazon for the peanut butter energy balls, they literally taste like cookie dough. You will be wanting to eat them yourself!

* Brownies - so simple to make, you can either make them with bananas and nut butter or sweet potatoes - again check out my book for the full recipes. There are also brownies out there that are allergy free, the bigger supermarkets stock them.

*Yo Yo, fruit loops - available in most supermarkets there is a range of flavours. Healthy and sweet! Made with natural fruit, each pack contains 2 loops and you can purchase a box of 8 packs. So this is an easy go to.

So there are a few ideas. There are endless recipes you can try! Though I understand people want to accommodate for people with allergies but they want it to be hassle free.

So the above will hopefully help. Don't be the one who causes that poor child to walk away from your door with no treats in his bowl.

Think about how you would feel.

Show children and parents that you have you allergy-free treats by simply placing a TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT poster on your door, or have some fun and also paint a pumpkin teal. Be part of spreading awareness.

So all I ask of you all is to have a small stock of allergy-free treats, if they aren't needed try them yourselves, you will be surprised how tasty they are.

Thank you.

I hope you all have your outfits ready and are ready to have a spooky night.

My day was made this morning when I had a comment left by @fitmissmckee saying she suffered from chronic pain but after starting to eat more of a plant-based diet and incorporating more fruit and veggies into her diet she has seen a difference. This is such great news and just shows you that people are benefiting from this way of living and eating. Personal stories are amazing for motivating us all.

And an overall thank you to everyone who leaves me lovely comments daily, I do try to reply to them all as they mean so much to me. Your comments and kind words are what drives me to keep creating and doing endless research. All the hard work and hours are all worth it.

Keep spreading the word. :)

Follow me on Snapchat @sophwardy and Insta @sophiewardy . And thank you <3

Let's keep motivated and spreading the word as much as we can and I know that children will greatly appreciate your efforts, you will make their Halloween's by just buying a simply treat and supporting a cause that makes these kind of events challenging for them. Thank you kindly, Love and peace xo .

#halloween #thetealpumpkinproject #plantabsed #foodallergies #foodallergyblog #foodblog #sophantastic #allergyfreecooking #allergyawareness

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