Friday, June 7, 2013

Preschool Zoo Trip

It was the perfect day for a preschool field trip to the zoo. The sun was shining and the animals were awake and active. I was so excited to spend the day with my three year old Cutie.

Since we were to have a picnic lunch on our trip, the parents of the preschoolers were asked to pack a peanut-free lunch for their kids (since the center is peanut-free - YAY!).  While I haven't heard any outright complaints about this, I have seen how so many people are unaware of what "peanut-free" really means, even though it has been explained that the foods cannot be labeled with a "May Contains" statement.
 
 
While we were walking around the zoo, I overheard a couple of parents talking about how they were unprepared to pack a lunch for their young child (since lunch is usually provided at daycare). They said they only had peanut butter, so they sent their kids with a jelly only sandwich. I really appreciate these parents taking the peanut-free lunch seriously. 

When it came lunch time, I glanced around at what the other kiddos brought. Most people did a pretty good job. I didn't see any PB&J sandwiches, but I did spy a few granola bars. I didn't check any labels, but I can almost guarantee they were processed with peanuts.  I know they didn't intentionally send these, but it just goes to show that people who don't deal with food allergies don't really know what to look for, nor do they check labels of every single item like food allergy mommas do.  I don't hold any bad feelings towards them, they just don't get it.


Now, I have been on other daycare field trips where lunches were supposed to be peanut-free, and I have seen worse items included, but again, I believe it was out of ignorance and not intentional.  Luckily this trip was with one of my non-allergy kiddos, so I wasn't too concerned.  It is more about principle.  The daycare does a wonderful job of remaining peanut-free, which is difficult with all the store bought cupcakes that come through the door.  The more difficult distinction comes from homemade treats brought in that don't have a label.  There's no way of knowing for sure if the cake or cookie mix (or frosting, etc) was processed with peanuts.  I have had a few wonderful parents go out of their way and bring in the original box from the mix they used so I could look it over.  That always made me feel better.  I realize it is difficult for non-allergy parents to really understand how to read labels and how important being careful with food is.  This is why food allergy education is so important, especially since food is EVERYWHERE!


We had a wonderful time at the zoo!  We got to see all the animals, including a temporary alligator exhibit.  Cutie and I are pictured above with her favorite zoo animal, the giraffe (mine too).  After our picnic lunch we got to take a train ride through the park.  The kids even got to scream in a tunnel during the train ride!  A great time was had by all!

 

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