This post is near and dear to my heart (read on to find out why), and I’m so excited to partner with Sherwin Williams to announce their 2018 color of the year, Oceanside! This is a rich, dusty, deep teal color that gives off perfectly moody, saturated vibes, and it would look SO gorgeous paired with soft neutrals and washed woods. YUM. 💙
To test out the color, I decided to have the kids paint a few pumpkins for our first year participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project. For the last few years, I’d noticed certain houses displaying brightly painted teal pumpkins at the front door while we were out trick-or-treating, and I didn’t understand. Now, after walking alongside a child with severe food allergies and learning as we go, I get it. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way to quickly let parents of children with food allergies know that their home is providing non-food treats for Halloween festivities. Such a simple concept with such a big impact for kids who can sometimes feel left out or “other.” 💙
It might seem so small, not being able to eat certain foods, and I guess in a way it is. However, the biggest struggle we’ve faced while tackling our daughter’s Celiac diagnosis over the past few months has been watching her feel left out, left behind. Class parties, quick trips to the drive-thru, vacations with unknown eating destinations, birthday parties, you get the idea. We have tried our very best to think ten steps ahead and provide alternative snacks at school or send her to parties with her own set of treats (and our closest pals and family have been SO awesome at providing these specific food choices for her so she can feel included), and at home, our family meals are almost always totally gluten-free so that “normal” at home is inclusive of our daughter. But you know…sometimes we drop the ball or just can’t plan that far in advance. Our little girl literally has THE BEST attitude about the whole thing, but even she gets tired of hearing, “You can’t.” Can’t eat this, can’t eat that….which many times means, “You can’t participate in this” or “you are OTHER.” It’s not like anyone teases her or anything like that; it’s more of a subtle feeling of being different, and it adds up when you think about how often people need to EAT in a day’s time and how many moments there may or may not be options for her to feel included and the same as all the other little kids.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a great way to bring awareness to a simple act of inclusion for kids with food allergies: grab a bag of party favors, sticker packs, bouncy balls, play jewelry, Target Dollar Spot trinkets, anything that could keep a child from approaching yet another door on Halloween night, only to walk away empty handed. Sure, it’s not the end of the world. But…you know that look when your baby feels left behind, feels different….and just wants to be part of the fun. By painting one pumpkin in a teal color or printing off a teal pumpkin and taping it to the door while providing non-food Halloween treats, we can extend inclusion to children who might look “normal” on the outside, but can so often feel the very opposite. I was unaware of this movement before our food-world was flipped upside down a few months ago, and now, as the mama of a daughter who has the kindest, sweetest heart I’ve ever seen and just wants to be told, “YES! You can!”…I’m so so in. 🙌🏻💙
If you’d like to paint a teal pumpkin for Halloween this year and provide a few non-food treats, we used (darkest to lightest) Sherwin Williams paint in Oceanside, Lakeshore and Jetstream to create a sort of ombre trio of teal pumpkins, letting our local trick-or-treaters know that all are included here for a few treats, no matter their limitations. Proud to team up with Sherwin Williams for our first year of The Teal Pumpkin Project!
For more ideas on non-food Halloween treats, click [HERE]