Last weekend was quite the “Allergy Mamma” experience. I had the joy of seeing kids get together to support food allergy kids and then later we had a complete restaurant fail.
A Teal Pumpkin? What is that? Well, I’ll happily tell you 🙂
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way to help kids with life threatening food allergies (1 in 13 kids have them) be safe and enjoy Halloween. The idea is, instead of offering just candy at Halloween you can also have a stash of non-food treats available for kids with food allergies. They’ll know you have them available because you have a teal pumpkin (and maybe a little sign too) out on display. This year I’ll have 156 Piece Mega Halloween Toy Novelty Assortment; 12 Halloween Ducks, 12 Halloween Pencils, 12 Halloween Sticker Sheets; 48 Halloween Erasers; 72 Halloween Glitter Tattoos!! and 8″ LumiStick Brand Glowsticks Glow Stick Bracelets Mixed Colors (Tube of 100) available, plus candy. Don’t worry non-food allergy friends, no one is trying to take candy out of Halloween, The Teal Pumpkin Project just wants to help more kids be able to safely participate in the holiday just like “all the other kids”.
When visiting Hank’s Pumpkintown (you can read about it here) we bought a bunch of extra mini pumpkins and got together with friends to paint them teal! We went to the Food Allergy Research & Education website and downloaded these coloring pages and signs for the kids to work on too. You can check out their website and get the downloads too at: DOWNLOADS
Here are the finished products!
The kids used these materials to paint their mini pumpkins (you can click each material and order from amazon.com if you’re interested):
Crayola Turquoise Washable Paint mixed with Crayola Green Washable Paint
And for the “Crafty” pieces, I used these materials (or similar ones) so that hopefully we can use the pumpkin and sign year after year:
I have to keep in mind how great it is that so many people are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, because this next part of our weekend sadly seems to be the norm.
We went to a family lunch at Antonio’s Trattoria. As soon as we sat down the waiter came over. I explained to him that our child has life threatening allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame, so while we brought safe food for him to eat, we would like to know if those allergens are in the food we want to order. If so we would order something else. We also asked that while handling his beverage (water cup and straw) please be sure no one who was handling those allergens touches his cup without washing their hands first or putting on fresh gloves.
The waiter assures me that they don’t serve anything with those ingredients. I could have just left it at that, but it was an Italian Restaurant and my experience is that they usually have sesame present. So I asked about the sesame specifically again, he said “No – oh except for all the hero rolls.” – Oh.
Then at that exact moment I happen to look around and notice this:
Yes, you are correct- those are 6 TUBS of Nutella – a chocolate hazelnut spread. So I point to them and ask “What about that?”
He tells me that “those just sit there.”
“So you don’t cook with them?”
“Well, we have a Nutella pizza.”
Right. So basically when I first tell him about my child’s LIFE THREATENING allergies, he says they don’t even have those items in the restaurant. Thankfully I kept asking. I have no problem bringing food for my child so that he’s safe everywhere he goes. I do not expect restaurants to stop serving the things they want to serve – but please be knowledgeable about what you’re selling and about the severity of food allergies!
Besides the scary interaction I had with the waiter, I simply can’t recommend this restaurant. The highlight of the meal for me was the bread basket and olive oil. For my entrée I ordered the gnocchi caprese.
When it arrived my kids asked me what kind of soup I ordered. Umm, I didn’t order soup. I ordered a simple pasta dish and instead received an inedible vat of slop. The soda was a watered down Diet Pepsi. My husband had pumpkin rice balls for an appetizer which he said were delicious, but beyond that one dish I say AVOID this place if you happen to be in the Bronx!
Oh what a weekend!
NYC Soda Girl’s Rating
2370 Belmont Ave., Bronx, NY
Fountain Diet Pepsi
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