Friday, March 27, 2015

Can You Color Better Than A Monkey?


What do monkeys and children have in common?  Well in addition to being loud and making messes they both also like to color.  Crystal the Monkey ( aka Dexter ) from the Night at the Museum movies loves to color!  Check out Crystal coloring this Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb coloring sheet.


Think you can color better than a monkey?  Prove it! Color the same page as Crystal has and send it in to A GEEK DADDY blog.  We'll randomly select one entry to receive a free blu-ray/dvd Night at the Museum 3 prize pack.  You can have a child in your life do the coloring but entries must be submitted by a US or Canadian resident over 18 years old to participate in this movie giveaway.



Submit one or all of the following entry methods to earn up to 10 entries prior to 11:59 pm EST on Saturday April 4, 2015:

BASIC ENTRY (1 ENTRY) - Email thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com with your name, mailing address with subject line CRYSTAL MONKEY.

COLORING CONTEST (6 ENTRIES ) - Color the poster above and attach it to your email entry. Coloring Entries will NOT be judged - randomly selecting winner.

FACEBOOK  ( 3 ENTRIES) - Visit this Facebook post and leave a comment sharing your favorite character from Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and why.

So what do you think? Can you color better than a monkey?


 About the Movie - Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings back to life your favorite museum heroes in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB  now available on Blu-ray , DVD, and  via Digital HD Download.  Families around the globe have come out to see the hysterical third and final installment in the franchise, which has grossed more than a billion dollars. Now, parents and kids can not only enjoy the best ‘Night’ ever, but also get their hands on a bonus Digital HD movie: their choice of either Night at the Museum or Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian when they purchase Night at the Museum 3.

If it’s laughter you’re after, get ready for the most hilarious night ever! Ben Stiller leads an all-star comedy cast, including Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson and Ricky Gervais, for one final, fun-filled Night at the Museum. This time, Larry Daley (Stiller) and his heroic friends embark on their greatest adventure yet as they travel to London in order to save the magic that brings the museum exhibits to life!

The Blu-ray™ comes with tons of special features that will have the whole family laughing! You can check out how Stiller got into character for his alter ego Laaa, get a behind the scenes look at The British Museum and learn how the film’s iconic fight scene inside an M.C. Escher painting came to light. Best of all, every Blu-ray™ comes with a bonus Digital HD movie – not only do you get a Digital HD version of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB, but you also get a Bonus digital movie – your choice of one of the other movies in the franchise.

DISCLAIMER:   Each entry will be assigned a number based upon the order in which it is received and one random number will be generated to select a winner. A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest, but Fox Home Entertainment is responsible for fulfillment and delivery of the prize.  By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion.  If you win this prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Prize will be delivered by UPS or FedEx so no P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive any financial compensation but did receive a review DVD for the blog and the prize that is being awarded to one of our readers for this contest.  A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this contest as a benefit to our readers. Any opinions in this post are my own.  By submitting a coloring entry you grant permission for it to be shared on this blog and through our social media outlets.  Winner will be selected on approximately Monday, April  6, 2015.

 #Night3MovieNight #NATM3Insiders #TrackDexter

All-You-Can-Eat Pizza Fundraiser Will Help Stock Detroit Soup Kitchen

On a typical day, the two Capuchin Soup Kitchen locations in Detroit serve more than 2,000 meals a day providing nourishment to the chronically poor as well as to working families and seniors who are having a hard time making ends meet.  It's not just adults either that benefit from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen as a third of the meals served each day are to children 12 years old or younger.  On Monday, April 13, 2015 your meal at one of Metro Detroit's Buddy's Pizza locations can help ensure the less fortunate have a place to turn to for their next meal.

Buddy's Pizza is hosting its 39th annual "Slice For Life" benefit to support the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.  From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., patrons who purchase a ticket can visit any Buddy’s Pizza full-service location to enjoy an all-you-can-eat two-topping pizza and salad meal. A carry-out option is also available for purchase at all 11 Buddy’s Pizza locations and includes either a 4-square two-topping pizza or a medium sized antipasto, Greek or house salad. Ticket sales benefit the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and over the last 38 years that Buddy's Pizza has hosted this event have raised $2.7 million dollars.  


Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children. Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.cskdetroit.org, or by calling 313.579.2100 ext. 153/170. Tickets will also be available at the door. All ticket holders may also register to win one 8-square Buddy’s Pizza every month for one year. The fundraising goal for this year's event is $125,000 to benefit the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.


While Chicago gets a lot of credit for its deep dish pizza, my favorite is a Detroit original.  I want Buddy's Pizza, which started 69 years ago in Detroit and still has locations throughout Metro Detroit, when I think of deep dish.  In fact, Buddy’s has been recognized as one of 10 pies worth a trip by Zagat; one of the Nation’s Five Best Pizza Places by the Food Network; dubbed the Hottest Independent Pizzeria in the Nation by Pizza Today; one of the best 25 Pizzas in America by GQ and one of the 25 best pizza spots in the US by Food & Wine Magazine.  Swing by a Buddy's Pizza on April 13th for a great meal that will help a good cause.


Founded in 1929 by Capuchin friars Solanus Casey and Herman Buss, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen supports numerous Metro Detroit programs that stimulate minds, nourish spirits, and attempt to address root causes of social injustice.  In addition to the soup kitchen, some of their other community services include providing children's tutoring and art therapy, its Earthworks Urban Farm which produces vegetables for Detroit's hungry plus educates the community in regards to sustainable relationships between human beings and the earth, and its ROPE (Reaching Our Potential Everyday) ministry that is designed to assist individuals "re-entering" society after bouts of incarceration or substance abuse. CLICK HERE to view all of the services and programs offered by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.  

If you join in on the Slice for Life fundraiser share some photos of you enjoying your slices with Buddy’s Pizza on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #Slice4Life.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Irish Spring Launches New Collection of Products Catering to Dads Who Work Hard & Play Hard in Life

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MySignatureMove #CollectiveBias 


Ugh! While picking up my kids from school the other day the sight of its playground being one huge mucked up pit brought back memories of some of my messiest moments as a dad.  The first diaper I'd ever changed was also my son's first poop - no one warned me in advance of the sticky, thick, dark green goo of a mess that ended up all over me and the changing table welcoming me to fatherhood.  My son seems to like to get me dirty as one of the other really messy moments in my life involved me rescuing him from being stuck in the mud at the neighborhood park which resulted in both of us loosing our shoes in the process of getting him unstuck and coming home entirely caked in dirt.  Of course his twin sister not wanting to be left out of the action contributed to one of the most horrific moments of my life.  While at the movie theater, I thought she was leaning over to whisper something in my ear.  Nope, rather it was like a scene from the Exorcist with her throwing up all over me and my having to carry her out to the bathroom while I was soaked and covered in vomit from head to foot. Oh the memories!


As a dad you need to be prepared to deal with the difficult and messy times whether its is in your professional career, as a parent cleaning up the messes your kids throw your way, or in your responsibilities of taking care of your home and yard.  I'm a person who works hard and plays harder so whether it is making a closing argument before a jury in a court room or playing some hoops on the basketball court, I'm always more confident and comfortable when I'm feeling refreshed and clean. #MySigntatureMove has always been to keep Irish Spring in the shower so I'm always fresh as a whistle when it comes to dealing with my professional and parenting responsibilities.


So I was excited to see when visiting Walmart that Irish Spring has expanded their product lineup with a collection of items called SIGNATURE FOR MEN.  New items include 3-IN-1 Body, Hair & Face Wash; Hydrating Body Wash; Hydration Deodorant Soap Bars; and Exfoliating Scrub Bars.  It is just as important for us guys to have healthy skin as it is for the ladies; so it was nice to see a product made for men from a brand I've been a long time customer with that provides some pampering without a guy feeling he's lost some masculinity by using it.


Purchase two of the new Irish Spring Signature products at Walmart and get $5 off a VUDU purchase! Take a picture of your receipt and then go to http://cbi.as/3boj to upload your receipt. Next step, enjoy watching!

I picked up the Irish Spring SIGNATURE FOR MEN products while I was shopping at Walmart to add to my shower routine.  I'm in court a lot in high pressure situations for my job as an attorney, hit the gym three times per week, play indoor soccer every Monday night plus chase and wrangle my kids everyday so there are plenty of opportunities for me to be a sweaty mess.  Irish Spring helps me feel that I'm always at my best.

Irish Spring's Hydrating Body Wash is crafted with authentic shea butter extract for men who are looking to soften up a little but have felt left out of having options to choose from because a bulk of the products are perfumed body washes and lotions catering to women.  This Hydrating Body Wash helps seal  in your skin's natural hydration through its moisturizing blend that leaves skin looking clean and healthy.


Irish Spring's 3-IN-1 body, hair and face wash is crafted with authentic mint extract and is designed for the man on the go who doesn't want to be using multiple grooming products at home or carting with him a travel kit full of bottles to the gym for cleaning up after a workout or to a hotel to stay fresh during a business trip or vacation.  Made for body, face, and hair this invigorating blend will leave a guy looking clean and revitalized.


Irish Spring's Exfoliating Scrub Body Bars are crafted with authentic milled oats for us guys who are a little bit rough around the edges.  Made to deep clean, this scrubbing blend will really clear off any grit and grime to have a man feeling clean and smooth.  It a big bar of soap too cut for a man's hand that won't go mush on you in the shower.

The Hydrating Soap Bar is also brick-cut so it is easy and sturdy to grasp.  I hate it when bars of soap quickly start getting squishy in the shower, but you won't have that problem with this brick.  Just like the hydrating body wash this bar of soap seals in the body's natural hydration through its moisturizing blend that leaves skin looking clean and healthy.

A video posted by @geekdad248 on


You always want to make you are fresh, clean and confident whether you are on the job or dealing with the messes your kids make on the playground.  So I depend on Irish Spring to make sure I'm fresh as a whistle wherever I may be or situation arises.  I've shared a few of my true life dad stories about falling in the mud, getting covered in poop, and sprayed with vomit and how Irish Spring helped get me feeling clean and refreshed again.  So what has been your "messiest" moment in life? Do tell!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Top Major League Baseball "Kids Clubs" for 2015


It'll be Opening Day in a few weeks and soon Major League Baseball action will be in full swing for its 2015 season.  I've been a passionate Detroit Tigers fan since being a child and it appears my kids are gaining an appreciation and passion for the game from the time we spend enjoying the national pastime together.  One way to encourage your children to become fans of the game, and also carry on your support of a favorite team, is to consider purchasing a Kids Club membership for them from one of your favorite Major League teams.  This could be especially useful if you plan on attending a Major League Baseball game this summer because you could use the gear/swag as a souvenir to give your child at the game during your family outing to the ballpark rather than spend the elevated and extraordinary amounts of money charged for hats, jerseys, baseballs and other mementos at the onsite gift shops.

Of the 30 MLB teams, 25 have kids programs to encourage children to become fans of the team and develop an interest in the sport of baseball.  The programs vary from team to team in both the price charged to participate (ranging from FREE to $50) and the benefits provided, so it is important for the adult who may be purchasing a kids club membership for their child, grandchild, niece, nephew and so on to do some research before signing up to participate to make sure there is a value in your situation to participate.  Some of the programs are really nice aimed to enhance the fan experience and enjoyment of the game while other Kids Clubs seem to be run as just another way to try to get a few more bucks out of a fan's wallet.

A Geek Daddy Blog has taken a look at each of the current programs offered by MLB teams and have ranked the Top 5 KID CLUBS for 2015 based upon these factors -  price/value, coolness/wow factor, quality of materials/swag, special events, and branding.   While I have to admit normally rooting for American League teams to win the World Series in this competition the National League swept all the top rankings for providing the best value to fans who participate in their Kids Clubs.  So going from fifth place to the best we have:

5) San Diego Jr. Padres - This program for kid's 14 years old and younger is FREE!  Jr. Padres earn a reward for every home game they attend by scanning their official card.  Rewards range from a rubber bracelet for attending one game to an exclusive player autograph session if the Jr. Padre makes it to the stadium for 11 games during the season. Club members also receive exclusive access to special team hosted events. Moms who go to the games with their Jr. Padres win too getting a special parent gift - a mom themed tumbler.  If you are already going to some games you have nothing to lose and get some extra perks by enrolling in the team's Kids Club.



4) St. Louis Cardinals Kids Club - The Cardinals really do a stand out job of working to create an experience to develop children into life long fans which includes having two distinct clubs, the Kids Club for ages 4 to 13 and a Varsity Club for teens 14 to 19 years old.


The Cardinals Kids Club provides its members with a fun exclusive perk in hosting a MEMBERS ONLY PARTY at Busch Stadium that includes games, snacks, Cardinals players signing autographs, and a chance to meet the team mascot.  Members are also provided 2 tickets to a Monday - Thursday home game during the regular season.  Another perk of membership is Cardinals gear that includes an official Kids Club drawstring bag and a  Fredbird Bobble Head Bank.

The Varsity Club provides 2 tickets to a Monday - Thursday home game at Busch Stadium during the regular season plus admission to a specially designated "Varsity Club Day @ The Ballpark" game. Members are provided early access to the "Varsity Club Day" game which features a pre-game program featuring Cardinals Front Office executives and players and a parade around the warning track.  Varsity Club gear includes a flat-bill cap and tablet cover with wireless charger.  Members also receive a coupon book that provides discounts and free perks at Cardinals games and a membership magazine that is mailed to their homes.

One drawback though is that these programs are on the pricier side when it comes to Membership fees for MLB kids clubs.  The Cardinals Kids Club costs $30 plus $2 processing charge & $5 shipping and handling for a total cost of $37.  The Membership fee for the Varsity Club is $35 plus 2 processing fee & $5 shipping and handling for a total cost of $42.

St. Louis was #1 on the 2014 list of Best MLB Kids Clubs and while still a nice option for fans to participate in was downgraded to #3 this year because of what appears to be a slight reduction in the quality of the merchandise provided to the Kids Club's members compared to what was offered last year at the same price.

3) Philadelphia Junior Phillies- the Phillies have a decent Kids Club program that revolves around its 2015 designated player chairperson, Ben Revere.  Members get Revere-branded swag that includes posters and magnets plus a Junior Phillies Club backpack.  There are also other discounts and special events for Junior Phillies.  Joining is just $15 but the caveat is that you have to pick up your membership items at Citizens Bank Park during a Phillies home game.

What really stands out though about the Philadelphia Phillies is that they have a separate fan club just to celebrate their mascot for children 14 called the Phanatic MVP Club which is a  separate program from the Junior Phillies.  For $13 dollars, kids can become a member of the Phanatics MVP Club that includes a Phanatic MVP bobble head, sunglasses, a poster and other fun swag.  Members also get the opportunity to be invited to special events and receive a Phanatic birthday box.  If parents sign their kids up for both clubs they can $3 on the total price of both memberships.  Either membership is a bargain price by itself and the combined rate of $25 is equivalent to the average price of Kids Club membership across the MLB teams.

The Phillies made the list this year for providing quality products at a reasonable price and for their creative use of their mascot in enhancing children's attention and attraction to their team.

2) Cincinnati Red Heads - For $30 members 3 to 12 year olds receive perks that include numerous special events and some of the best swag items of any MLB kids club.  RED HEADS receive an exclusive replica of a Reds batting jersey, a backpack with detachable lunchbox, 2015 ALL STAR Game wristbands, membership card with lanyard, free Bob Evans kids meal, and free admission opportunities to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, Cincinnati Zoo, and Cincinnati Museum Centers OMNIMAX Theater.  A Reds Heads email newsletter is also thrown into this membership package for young fans.


The Red Heads consistently provide a quality product to its fans and are a benchmark for MLB Kids Club programs.  Cincinnati didn't make the number one slot this year though because they raised the membership price by $5 while slightly downgrading the quality of the merchandise they provide to its members compared to 2014.  It's still a great program but not as great as it was last year.

 1)  The Chicago Cubs - Clark's Crew really upped their game this year to get the #1 Kids Club in MLB ranking for 2015.  As they promote on their website, Clark's Crew provides "Better Sizes, Cooler Items and More Fun!"to its kids club members than it has in the past.  This year, members get a unique backpack, a replica jersey in a choice of youth sizes to ensure a good fit, a membership card with a fast-pass for Kids Run the Bases at Wrigley Field, an activity book with 32 pages of puzzles and games, a special Jewel-Osco Healthy Eaters Card (valid for a free apple or banana with EVERY visit to a Chicago area Jewel-Osco grocery), an opportunity to attend a Clark's Crew Member Only Player Q&A event during the season, exclusive mailings throughout the year, and other discounts and special experiences throughout the season.  Joining Clark's Crew costs $25 plus shipping and handling for the delivery of the membership kit to your house.



Another impressive option provided to fans by the Cubs, is its Newborn Fan Club.  For $45 this program is perfect for new parents and their newborns.  The Newborn Fan Club includes a customized photo announcing the birth (complete with baby's name, birthday, and birth weight) on the historical landmark of the Wrigley Field Marquee, exclusive Cubs birth certificate to hang in the newborn's nursery, Cubs baby stocking cap to help keep their smallest fans warm, and a Cubs "Rookie of the Year" onesie to show off the loyalty around town.




Because the Cubs are doing an outstanding job of providing Kids Club offerings that enhance the fan experience at a reasonable price in an effort to build the life long loyalty of children to their team they are the World Champs this year for our A Geek Daddy Kids Club competition - now we'll have to see if that carries over to a World Series title on the diamond this season.

Cheering on your favorite sporting team can be a great bonding experience for parents and kids plus a fun way to spend time together as a family.  MLB Kids Clubs are a nice way to introduce your children to the team you cheer for and encourage them to join you as a fan.  If you haven't checked them out for your local team, I encourage you to do so.  CLICK HERE for a listing of all the MLB team's website kids' sections.

Well our favorite team didn't make the list this year, but come Opening Day we'll still be cheering for the guys on the field wearing the Old English D.   What team will you be rooting for this year?


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wrap up your Middle Earth Adventure with a Digital Download



Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson's epic adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece novel The Hobbit comes to a conclusion in the final film of his movie trilogy "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." The film continues the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves and the Hobbit trilogy serves as a prequel that sets up Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company of Dwarves have unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.



You can purchase The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies NOW via digital download or it will be available to buy on Blu-ray/DVD beginning March 24, 2015.  In recognition of the availability of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies availability for people's home video entertainment libraries, Warner Home Video has generously provided a #FREE digital download for A Geek Daddy Blog to provide one lucky reader.  Complete the Middle Earth "Weapon of Choice" Quiz and follow the instructions below before 11:59 pm EST Wednesday, March 25  to earn up to 2 entries (Must be a US resident 18 years and older):

EMAIL (1 ENTRY) - Email thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com with your name, mailing address with subject line MIDDLE EARTH.

FACEBOOK (1 ENTRY) - Leave a comment on this giveaway post identifying your weapon of choice in the Middle Earth Quiz and using the hash tag #TheHobbit

Disclaimer & Rules:

You must be a US resident to enter over the age of 18. A Geek Daddy Blog will select a random winner on  Thursday, March  26, 2015 ( 1 winner will be selected from a random draw of all eligible entries - each submitted entry will be assigned a number and a random number will be drawn to select a winner based upon total entries ).  A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest, but Warner Home Video  is responsible for fulfillment and delivery of the prize. By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion. A Geek Daddy Blog hosted this contest and blog post based upon  Warner Home Video providing the prize to the selected winner.  Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Prize will be delivered by UPS or FedEx so no P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this giveaway as a benefit to our readers.  Information for this post was provided by Warner Home Video.  A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive any financial compensation for publishing this post.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tips for Creating a Food Allergy Friendly Easter Basket

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DisneyEaster  #CollectiveBias

According to the non-profit group FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) 1 in 13 children suffer from food allergies.  A statistic my daughter joined when she was 18 months old and went into life threatening anaphylactic shock after eating some peanut butter which resulted in her being rushed to the ER and a three day hospital stay.  Prior to that incident our family didn't know much about food allergies or understand how dangerous and severe of a medical condition it can be, now taking protective steps regarding food and products has become part of our daily routine. 

What is a food allergy? FARE describes it like this, "the job of the body’s immune system is to identify and destroy germs (such as bacteria or viruses) that make you sick. A food allergy results when the immune system mistakenly targets a harmless food protein – an allergen – as a threat and attacks it." What makes dealing with a food allergy especially challenging is that the trigger is microscopic (you can't see a protein) and even if a food or product like shampoo doesn't have the allergen as an ingredient if it is bakes, created, or processed with the same equipment or utensils that have handled those ingredients the contamination can cause a reaction.



Holidays like Easter can be very difficult for children with food allergies because many of the treats associated with it, like candy from the Easter Bunny, are off limits due to their ingredients or contamination issues.  To make it up to my daughter, we work to make these days extra special with non-food treats.  My daughter, like most 6 year old girls, is enamored with FROZEN so we went to our local Walmart and created a #DisneyEaster basket for her.  Here are some tips on making a food allergy friendly Easter Basket.

In addition to large assortments of candy on stock, Walmart has a nice selection of fun non-food related Disney FROZEN items that can be used to fill an Easter basket ranging from activity sets to clothing to toys.  Even if a child in your life doesn't have a food allergy you may want to check out some of these items if you're  looking to cut down on the sweets they are eating.  Here are some food allergy friendly categories of items to look out for and examples of products we purchased during our shopping trip.

CLOTHES

My kids are often just as thrilled and excited to get some cool clothing items as they are to get candy.  Plus a fun t-shirt or hat lasts longer and is more useful compared to candy for a treat.  We picked up an adorable cap and a hair accessory set that included barrettes, terries, snap clips and elastics to put in my little girl's Olaf basket.


ACTIVITIES & CRAFTS

Art supplies, temporary tattoos, and stickers can be creative and imaginative treats to use as prizes for Easter egg or basket hunts instead of jelly beans and chocolates.  You'll never have to worry about putting a kid at risk at a family gathering, school function or community event by providing these types of items as a treat.  Walmart has available a #Disney FROZEN 3-in-1 Activity Set and sticker books that we picked up for our Food Allergy Friendly Easter Basket.



TOYS

Toys are always a safe option to candy as a treat when it comes to food allergies.  They often times will be a more expensive option than candy but provide peace of mind when it comes to a child's safety for parents and of course always put a smile on a kid's face.  Walmart has a great selection of #FROZEN toys for budget conscious shoppers - keep an eye out for them rolling back those prices too!  We picked up a trio of Anna, Elsa and Olaf plush toys to fill our daughter's #DisneyEaster basket.



SNACKS & TREATS

Whether it is filling Easter Baskets, hiding Easter Eggs for a hunt, or entertaining a party providing candy, snacks and food can be a touchy subject.  While the numbers of people suffering from food allergies is growing, it is still a relatively small percentage of the overall population which means that many people aren't aware of the seriousness of the problem and the difficulties associated with the medical condition because they don't have to deal with it on a daily basis so food allergies just isn't a top of mind issue.  The fact is though that most schools average two children per classroom with a severe food allergy that once triggered could cause them to go into life threatening anaphlyactic shock so it is likely that someone you know is impacted.  My daughter's class for example has two girls with peanut allergies and another girl with a milk allergy. That makes it important to be considerate of the problem when planning snack or treats for events and parties, especially ones where children are involved.  Please keep the following points in mind:

READ THE INGREDIENTS - In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers to list the eight most common ingredients that trigger food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.  The label should include any specific allergen included in the food as well as any ingredient, coloring, flavoring or other additive that contains a protein from the eight major food allergens.  Carefully reading labels is a good way to be proactive in avoiding food allergy problems.

CONTAMINATION IS AS BIG AN ISSUE AS INGREDIENTS - Microscopic contamination of food or candy can make treats unsafe even if they don't have the allergen in their actual ingredients.  Don't just look at the ingredients on labels but also watch out for warningss that identify if a treat was processed, prepared or packaged in a facility with the allergens.  Note though that contamination warnings are voluntary and not mandated by the FDA so if something looks like it may be produced with other products that contain allergens but doesn't have a warning on the label it is best to still be cautious.

HOME BAKED & BAKERY MADE ITEMS ARE A NO NO - Unfortunately, even with washing, if the same bowls, pans, utensils and other kitchen tools are used to make and prepare items that contain allergens there is a significant risk of contamination though the food itself may not have the allergen as an ingredient.  That often makes most home baked goods from other people and items from bakeries off-limits for kids with food allergies.  If you bake or cook at home using any of the eight most common allergens in your kitchen, it is probably in every one's best interest not to include home made items as Easter treats unless you are certain no one has a food allergy.

For our daughter's food allergy friendly FROZEN Easter basket, after reviewing the label we picked up some movie themed Kellog's fruit snacks that are shaped in form of various Disney princesses including Anna and Elsa.  In the food/snack category we also picked up a 2-in-1 Snack & Drink cup so our daughter can conveniently enjoy her food allergy safe snacks at home while watching her favorite movie, FROZEN on the TV.


FARE cites on their website the stat "every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER – that's more than 200,000 visits per year."  Nobody wants a holiday ruined by a trip to the hospital and by taking some precaution and consideration for this serious medical condition that outcome can very easily be avoided.  As we've demonstrated in this #CollectiveBias shop at Walmart there are numerous safe and fun items that can be used for Easter Baskets, egg hunts, and holiday celebrations that are food allergy friendly and don't put people's health and lives at risk.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone.  For more information on the products listed in this post, please visit www.walmart.com and for more information about food allergies go to www.foodallergy.org

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

DreamWorks Animation's Newest Family Friendly Movie Arrives at Theaters on March 27, 2015

Our family loves to enjoy a good movie together, but with two 6 year old kindergarteners we often find our options limited. I can't count the number of times last year my wife and I discussed going on a family outing to the movie theater only to find that there wasn't anything suitable playing that we felt was a good fit to take our kids to go see. So we're always keeping an eye out for good family friendly films arriving in theaters like DreamWorks Animation's HOME which debuts on March 27, 2015.


In HOME, when Oh, a lovable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human, and together they discover the true meaning of the word HOME. This movie stars The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons along with Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and is directed by Tim Johnson.


In recognition of the theatrical release of HOME, DreamWorks Animation & 20th Century Fox Entertainment are providing one lucky A Geek Daddy blog reader with a prize pack that includes a $25 Visa gift card to use to buy tickets to go see HOME, an EOS lip balm and hand lotion 6-pack and movie branded ear buds.  Just follow the instructions below before Sunday, March 22, 2015 @ 11:59pm EST to enter and earn up to three entries:

EMAIL (1 ENTRY) - Email thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com with your name, mailing address with subject line FUN HOME.
 
FACEBOOK (2 ENTRIES) - Leave a comment on this giveaway post saying where you consider your HOME to be with the hashtag #DreamWorksHome



While you are waiting to see if you've won this great prize pack and for this movie to hit theaters so you can go see it, check out these HOME activities you can do with the kids in your life and have some fun.   Click on these links to download templates to make a Bubble Mobile or 3-D Oh for a family activity together.




Visit all the HOME websites - #DreamWorksHOME
Visit the Official Website
Like ‘HOME’ on Facebook
Follow @DWAnimation on Twitter
Get to know The Boov’s at Meet the Boov!

DISCLAIMER & RULES:

You must be a US resident to enter over the age of 18 to participate in this giveaway contest. A Geek Daddy Blog will select a random winner on  Monday, March 23, 2015 ( 1 winner will be selected from a random draw of all eligible entries - each submitted entry will be assigned a number and a random number will be drawn to select a winner based upon total entries ).  A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest, but DreamWorks Animation  is responsible for fulfillment and delivery of the prize.  You  waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion. A Geek Daddy Blog hosted this contest and blog post based upon DreamWorks providing the prize to the selected winner.  Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  No P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this giveaway as a benefit to our readers. A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive financial compensation for this post but did receive a similar prize pack for the publisher's personal use.  The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are that of the publisher of this blog and not that of the prize sponsor though DreamWorks Animation did provide information and content to be used in this blog post. E-mails received from those not selected as the prize winner will not be forwarded to the prize sponsor or any other third party and deleted at the conclusion of the promotion.