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).