Food Allergy Science Fair Project

Caleb's 1st Grade Science Fair Project

Caleb’s 1st Grade Science Fair Project

Last night Caleb had the school Science Fair. He was very excited to participate in it this year- [we missed it last year]. When he said he wanted to do the science fair, he did not really have any ideas in mind. I naturally turned to Google- to try to find appropriate 1st grade level science projects. I found a great website that had a few examples. I thought Caleb would want to do “Deer”- since my husband feeds them in our backyard and has a game camera to capture them. We also talked about doing the celery with food coloring, or charting [statistics] of who had what allergies in the family, or frogs, bugs, etc. So I presented these ideas to Caleb and he was really excited about doing something about food allergies! I was actually quite surprised! We started talking about different aspects of food allergies, and he got excited when I mentioned cross contamination! He said “Mom! I want to that- because I don’t really know much about it and I should!- because I HAVE food allergies!” So- that was settled!

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“Most common top 8 allergens are: peanut, egg, dairy, soy, wheat, shellfish, seafood, treenuts; followed by corn, sesame, strawberry and mustard. You can have an allergy to ANYTHING! Benedryl and Epinephrine help treat allergic reactions. There is NO cure for allergies. (YET!)”

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“Cross Contamination happens when unintended allergens are present on surfaces or in foods. Common sources of cross contamination are: Surfaces: tables, toys, doorknobs, faucets, cups, silverware, shopping carts. Saliva: cups, kisses, pets. Manufacturing: unintended ingredients mixed in to foods in production.”

photo (12)“An allergic person can have deadly reaction called ANAPHYLAXIS from a mere trace of their allergen, especially if it is ingested or inhaled. Some people can’t even touch their allergen without having a severe reaction. This is why CLEANING and HANDWASHING are so important!”

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We had 3 dishes of fine glitter to represent different allergens. We let people touch the glitter then touch the different objects to see if they saw the glitter ‘allergens’ on it. Then we had a bucket and rag to show how cleaning with that was not enough to get rid of allergens on a surface [glitter all over the wash cloth!] and how it simply spread the allergens around. We also had a sample sandwich and sunbutter and jelly to show how not using a clean utensil can spread allergens too causing cross contamination of the foods from ‘double dipping’ or from cutting different sandwiches with the same knife. Wearing something like food service gloves helps stop cross contamination when handing different food products.

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All the children were having fun touching the glitter then touching objects. This project would be great to bring into the classrooms to help teach about allergens and cross contamination! I am SO proud of the work Caleb did on his project, and what he learned.

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Receiving his award from the principal and assistant principal! Caleb is very proud of his medal!

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9 Responses to Food Allergy Science Fair Project

  1. Lauren March 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I love that he chose to do his science fair project on food allergies and cross contamination. What a great idea! I loved the glitter idea. It really does a wonderful job of explaining cross contamination especially showing the importance of hand washing. Love! Congrats to Caleb and you! I’m going to tuck this idea away for when my boys are older. 🙂

  2. Kathryn @ Mamacado March 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    What a wonderful idea! And it’s so cool that he was so excited for his project. I am most likely going to enroll my 3 year old in pre-school soon. The glitter idea would be a great project for the class.

  3. Chava March 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Wow Jenny!! Creative thinking! I like the glitter idea. Caleb is doing a great job spreading awareness!

  4. Selena Bluntzer March 25, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    He did a fantastic job!

  5. joanne March 25, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    Awesome!!! I love this….way to go!

  6. Susan Tharp March 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    I LOVE this!!! Well done Caleb and Jenny! It’s great to see young food allergy advocates at work. The glitter idea is wonderful! I just shared it with my food-allergic daughter’s school nurse and she loves it, too!
    Susan

  7. Jessica Martin March 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    This is fantastic – being a bit of a science nut myself. Congrats to Caleb!

  8. Stacy March 30, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    That is so AWESOME! Great job Caleb! Love it!!

  9. Libby November 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Jenny, how did I miss this post when it first came out? Love, love, love the project! I’ve never met your kids, but I simply adore them!

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