Easter 2020 is going to be like no other! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantine, we are going to have to be resourceful and get creative. It can be done! Just remember this: if Easter or Passover look a little -or a lot- different this year, that's okay! Think outside of last year's Easter basket for new takes on old traditions, or make new ones entirely (or even just for this year, let's call them "Traditions-In-Place" maybe?).
Neither rain, nor more rain, stopped us from having a TEALly good time at this year's Teal Pumpkin Trunk-or-Treat! Families from 3 states braved the rain to safely enjoy this fun, food-free holiday.
We all know April showers bring May flowers so we anticipate soggy egg hunts most years. We knew we couldn't depend on the weather this year especially, so we found a location with both an indoor and outdoor option. The littles enjoyed an egg hunt that included soft toys, while the older kiddos' eggs were filled with emoji toys, cars, slap bracelets and more. Everyone had a good time looking for the few golden, prize eggs!
We send another HUGE thank you to our event co-sponsor, Dr. Blake Billups, who provided the toy egg fillers. And an even bigger THANK YOU to our volunteers for the making the magic happen!
We all look forward to spending time with family and friends during the holidays. For those of us managing food allergies, we may feel tense about the upcoming challenges. From finding substitutions for recipes to family members who do not understand the need to be cautious, going home for the holidays may come with added stress.
We turned to FAAM members and followers on social media and asked how they decrease holiday stress and manage food allergies over the holidays. They shared the following tips:
Our fourth year of hosting a trunk-or-treat just for our Mid-South food allergy community was just as much fun as our first! This event grows each year and is a fun time for the lil' goblins and their parents. After a costume parade to show off their cool costumes, the children trick-or-treat for non-food items at trunks decorated by parents and grandparents. We then move inside to play festival games and earn more non-food prizes. What stood out the most to me was a group of parents just hanging out in the middle of the room, they were talking to each other and their children were going through the games again without them. This may not seem unusual for most people, but it is not typical for our food allergy families at a food-centered event. But this safe, food-free event allowed both parents and children time to relax and enjoy the holiday. That is exactly why we work hard to make sure we continue to serve our community in such an important way. We are already looking forward to next year!
I am very thankful to our volunteers who arrived early, worked the event, and stayed late to make sure our children felt included this Halloween; to Food Allergy Research & Education for helping sponsor this event; to Blake Billups, DDS for donating non-food items; and to the Bartlett Fire and Police Departments for participating. Thank you all for allowing our children to enjoy a fun, holiday tradition in a safe way! Click here for information on FARE's Teal Pumpkin Project.
by Kelley Barnett
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how to "do the Teal Pumpkin Project", I would be rich! I am excited to share with you how easy and affordable it is to include ALL children on Halloween. Join the Food Allergy Alliance of the Mid-South in turning the Mid-South teal this Halloween!
Our annual food-free egg hunt was hoppin' this year! Our little bunnies enjoyed decorating eggs (not real ones, but they look like it!), taking photos with Bunny, and watching The Magnificent Magic Show. For the grand finale, they hopped over to the egg hunt where they found plenty of eggs with non-food treasures inside. A food-free events means the children keep everything they find. This is a wonderful feeling for parents of children with food allergies - no digging to find what is deemed "safe" and no disappointed faces when the child cannot keep the candy they found because it contained their allergens. Parents also hunted for eggs to win some eggstra special prizes!
We send a huge THANK YOU to our sponsors and volunteers for making this special event happen. We could not have done it without you! The hearts of our volunteers, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), Ms. Rainbow, Memphis Zoo and Kendra Scott-Saddle Creek are the reason our children had huge smiles and felt included. Our events are fun, there is no doubt about that! They also serve a greater purpose of supporting our local food allergy community, encouraging fellowship among members and including our food allergy FAAMilies in special traditions. THANK YOU for helping us make that happen!
Egg hunts are right around the corner! Check out last year's Spring has Sprung blog post full of ideas for dyeable "eggs", safe for those with egg allergies, and ways to make your egg hunt fun for everyone.
For additional resources, hop over to FAAM's Easter & Passover board on Pinterest.
Like many families, our holiday traditions involve food, and lots of it! It seems that every holiday we prepare a smorgasbord of yummy sides, cookies, cakes, breads...you name it from so-and-so's famous recipe of all. the. allergens. It feels overwhelming to take on the daunting task of making our beloved traditional recipes safe, but we do it. What's one more stressor this time of year anyway?
Invitations to Egg Hunts and Spring Celebrations are popping up like tulips. Many food allergy families are on the look out for safe ways to get in on the fun. The great news is there are many safe options! I am sharing my favorite Easter ideas and resources so your family can enjoy an egg-cellent (yep, I said it) holiday season.
This article is published in the November 2016 issue of Good Health Memphis, a health and lifestyle magazine for the Mid-South community. FAAM is posting the article here with permission from the editor and author. Click here to view the entire digital issue and past issues of Good Health Memphis. You can find print copies in your Commercial Appeal newspaper and in stands at select Krogers. Click here to view the article in the Commercial Appeal online.
by Kelley Barnett
FAAM hosted a Teal Pumpkin Trunk-or-Treat for our members and it was SO. MUCH. FUN! Most holidays involve food and enjoying traditions, like Trick-or-Treating, is very challenging for people diagnosed with food allergies. So we hosted our own food-free Halloween complete with games, face painting with Ms. Rainbow, a costume parade, and trunk-or-treating.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how to "do the Teal Pumpkin Project", I would be rich! I am excited to share with you how easy and affordable it is to include all children on Halloween.
Food for Thought is the blog for the Food Allergy Alliance of the Mid-South. FAAM's mission is to provide food allergy support, education, advocacy, fellowship & fun for Memphis, TN and surrounding areas.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately and follow up with a physician.