Sunday, February 22, 2009

Update on the social experiment

Well, we checked out the Cake Walk** on Friday to see how my mini-social experiment was coming along. As I said, I hadn't taken Big Guy to the cake walk last year because I knew he couldn't eat anything that he might win, so I didn't know what exactly to expect.

When we got in the room, I couldn't believe how many treats were stacked up for people to choose from. And when the kid wins the cake walk, he/she just runs up and grabs whatever looks good. The winner didn't get much time to pick. So, it was nearly impossible for the winner to find my labeled treats.

I quickly realized the problem with my experiment .... lack of visibility. The winner couldn't find my treats and no one knew that non-allergen treats were going to be there. For labeled treats to work people have to know they are there. So, I think next year I would try to work with the parents who organize this part of the fun fair and suggest that 2-5 of us make allergen-free treats (like I did this year), label them and announce the availability of the treats to all parents via the fun fair info sheets that are sent home 2-4 weeks before the fun fair. We would basically have a separate table for those treats and then kids with allergies would know there is something there they can eat if they do win the cake walk.

What do you all think? Would you allow your child to eat something at an event like this? Is it worth it???

** (For those of you who aren't sure what a cake walk is at a fun fair/carnival, here you go. There are a bunch of numbered sheets of paper taped to the floor in a circle. Then a bunch of kids (around 15) walk in a circle while music is playing. When the music stops, you stop on a number and the leader draws a number from a hat, if your number is drawn you win and get to pick a "cake" (in this case, a plate with 2-3 portions of a treat on it).

Friday, February 20, 2009

A new member of the family

Tada! I had a baby!! He was born on Jan. 21 and is a "cutie-pie" (according to Little Guy).

Hanging out today with mom.

Hmmm, now that the baby is here I guess I can't use the term Little Guy for my second son. But it would be confusing to change his nickname now. I guess I'll stick with Little Guy for him and call the baby Littlest Guy (which I'm sure he will LOVE when he is older).

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if he has any food allergies. I've talked to other moms with 3 kids and there are at least 2 families where one of the 3 kids dodged the food allergy bullet. Time will tell for Littlest Guy.

My mini-social experiment

Tonight is the Fun Fair at Big Guy's school. I decided that since I have some more time (being home on maternity leave) I would bake some allergen-free treats for the cake walk.

I made the Cherrybrook Kitchen chocolate cupcakes with Pillsbury frosting (which only contains soy) ....

and dairy-free rice krispie treats with the Miracle Margarine (aka Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine, which has no dairy in it.)

As you can see, the treats are clearly marked regarding what allergens they do and do not contain. I am interested to see if ...

(1) parents with kids with food allergies even go to the cake walk (I know I didn't last year because I assumed there would be nothing there that Big Guy could eat)
(2) parents with kids with food allergies are comfortable taking food another parent made
(3) kids without allergies will NOT eat these because they think they will taste gross (which they don't, they are yummy).

So that is why I consider this donation to be a mini-social experiment. The mom running the cake walk has two kids with food allergies, so she'll be paying attention to how this all goes down.

Stay tuned!!