Happy Halloween!

It’s time for the fun and festivities of Halloween to begin!  Enjoy one of these fitting treats! (and you don’t even have to tell your little goblins that they’re all healthy!)

Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal Pumpkin ProjectKids love Halloween.  What’s not to love?  Trick or Treating?  The CANDY?!  But for many children with food allergies, Halloween can be a very tricky time.  Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies.  I know this first hand.  Our 16-year-old son has severe food allergies.  His ‘Trick or Treating’ as a child just meant more candy for his siblings.  I vividly remember him dumping his candy out onto the floor and sorting it into ‘safe’ and ‘give away’ piles.  This was a very important process but unfortunately his ‘safe’ pile only consisted of a few hard candies.

There is an exciting initiative underway to make Halloween a fun positive experience for all!  The Teal Pumpkin Project™ is designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option.  Launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014, the momentum is building with 100,000 households pledging to participate this year!  And, for kids looking for Teal Pumpkin Project™ homes, a neighborhood map will be available.

Do you want to participate?
Participating is simple – Visit FARE’s website to sign the pledge (I signed up this week!), then pick up some inexpensive non-food items (e.g., pencils, stickers, glow sticks), and place a teal pumpkin and/or a free printable sign from FARE outside your home to show that you have non-food treats to hand out. Supporting the Teal Pumpkin Project™ is a simple gesture that can have a big impact.

Please join FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project™ to help us create a safer, happier Halloween for all!

The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)

Jack O Lantern Quesadillas with Midnight Salsa

Jack O Lantern Quesadilla

Maddie’s quesadilla at ‘Kid’s Halloween Class’ October 25, 2014

Another fun recipe for Halloween that is sure to put a smile on your kids’ faces.  All you need are whole grain tortillas, beans and shredded cheddar; they bake in the oven for just 10 minutes.  You can serve them with your favorite salsa but I provided a recipe for ‘Midnight Salsa’ for you to try. Enjoy!

Jack O’ Lantern Quesadillas (makes 4)

8 small whole grain soft tortillas

1 cup canned refried beans (fat-free)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a tortilla on a cutting board. With the sharp tip of a paring knife, carve triangle shapes for eyes and a crescent shape for the mouth. Repeat with 3 more tortillas. Place the other four tortillas on a baking sheet, spread each with a 1/4 cup of beans. Sprinkle each with a 1/4 cup of cheese. Next, top each with the carved tortilla and place in oven for 10 minutes (until cheese is bubbly and browning begins). Serve with Midnight Salsa*.

*Midnight Salsa (makes 2 cups)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped red onion

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Place all ingredients into a small bowl. Toss well and chill for 20 minutes.