New Developments on Giving Kids Peanut Butter and Our First Blogger Event

Some tips for introducing peanut proteins to infants

CBUS Dads got an invite to its first Columbus blogger event last week. Locally-based Crazy Richards Peanut Butter Company and Alchemy Juice Cafe partnered to bring together local bloggers and foodies to share new American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for introducing peanut proteins to infants.

A study was initiated, inspired because peanut allergies in America were on the rise and were actually the highest on the planet. The study found that Israel had the least amount of peanut allergies, and they concluded that a common baby food with peanuts as one of the ingredients helped people build immunity.

Dr. Summit Shah of Premier Allergy spoke to the group of roughly 20 on the revised guidelines that state we should be giving our children peanut butter as early as 4-6 months old. For even my daughter, who is only two and half, that philosophy has shifted.

She recommended mixing a peanut powder with oatmeal or cereal to test it out with our babies. She added that if peanut allergies run in the family, kids can see an allergist for a skin test before actually ingesting peanut products. Symptoms of a peanut allergy are hives, vomiting or general fussiness.

This was all very informative and actionable for my six-month-old at home.

On top of that, this was a fun event. First, we all received specialty crafted peanut butter smoothies from Alchemy. If you don’t know about Alchemy, you should go. Go now. Hell, take your kids.

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I chatted with a handful of the attendees, many of whom were Columbus mommy bloggers (shoutouts to 614 Mom and LizBonJ!). I was the only dad blogger (I was also the only male) in attendance, but that just reaffirmed that CBUS Dads can fill a void missing in Columbus.

I met the owner of Crazy Richards, which has a long history, and admirably touts 100 percent all-peanut peanut butter.

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I also met the co-founder of Alchemy, who also happens to be a local blogger with Hummusapien.com.

Bonus door prizes to all attendees, which included the Squirt. Haven’t tried it yet, but it’s ready to deploy on a meal for our little one anytime.

I was honored to attend and represent our scrappy little dad blog. I hope we can find more ways to be part of and help rally this community of parents in central Ohio.

By Steven Michalovich, Contributor

Here’s How Taylor Swift Can Help You Survive The Daddy/Daughter Dance

Shake it off already.

As a parent, there’s a whole world of firsts. This past Saturday was a first for me on a whole new level. My daughter Leah and I went to our first Daddy/Daughter Dance. I had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, an unlikely source got me through the nerves, chaos and unabashed fun. Of course we’re talking about Taylor Swift:

It’s like I got this music in my mind.

Saying it’s gonna be alright.

Stress is my frenemy. I do my absolute best work when there’s a spotlight and no script. I also get stressed about everything. Everything!

When it comes to dancing, there are people with rhythm, people who sort of have rhythm, people who can’t dance and people who really can’t dance. I’m 32 floors below people who can’t dance. It’s dreadfully bad.

I hated having to go to dances in school and avoided dancing at weddings when humanly possible. Now I was going to dance with my kid in front of other dads. The logical person in me should have absolutely zero concern over this. Why was I a bit nervous? Fortunately, Leah had some solutions.

I’m dancing on my own, I make the moves up as I go.

And that’s what they don’t know, that’s what they don’t know.

As Leah says, “I am what I am, and I do what I do.” She only had three concerns about the big event.

  • Would she get a present? She did.
  • Would there be cake? What’s a party without cake?
  • Would her best friend from kindergarten be there? Not sure.

There was no concern over peer pressure, no worries about what to wear or not wear. To her, it was a chance to have fun. No more. No less.

So often, parents are the ones who can mess things up. We focus on what happened in the past or worry about what will happen in the future. What about now? No really – now. This moment. This opportunity. This chance to spend time with your kid. As parents, we teach them plenty. Leah helped teach me to shake off these nerves and just go. So I did.

 I never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet.

And that’s what they don’t see, that’s what they don’t see.

Leah ended up finding her best friend from kindergarten. Like backup dancers from Taylor Swift’s tour, it was a whirling dervish of activity and an ongoing quest to make sure you knew where your kid was while every pop song imaginable blared over the speakers.

Leah is six; she didn’t need her dad. I suppose this may emerge as a trend in later years.

You could’ve been getting down to this sick beat.

The result left me in an unexpected position. I, and about 150 other dads, were just hanging around trying to figure out what to do. Fortunately, the spirit of our playful bunch diffused to dads. Instead of looking at our phones in a haze, I had a chance to connect with random strangers, share some jokes and even see old neighbors I hadn’t seen in years.

I could have been getting down, but I feel lifted up by the sense of community. I was also thrilled to support an important cause; the dance raised nearly $10,000 for breast cancer research.

I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain.

Leah’s bedtime is around 8. At 8:40, I realized it was probably time to have left 20 minutes ago. There was just one problem; I couldn’t find her. Leah wanted to go to the bathroom with the big kids all by herself. In the haze of humanity, she went back in the gym, and I missed her.

Six or seven minutes later, I saw Leah talking with another dad. Here’s what I heard as I walked over.

“It’s always important to find a policeman or fireman if you go missing so they can help you find your daddy. And then, (looks over) Daddy there you are.”

daddy-daughter-photoAs she ran over a for a hug, I realized she was getting bigger but was still my little girl. I suspect it will be that way for a while. The only thing left to do before we had to go home was shake it off.

But I keep cruising.

Can’t stop, won’t stop moving.

It was only once dance, a three-minute country song with words I can’t remember. The moment, Leah kissing my hand and asking for me to pick her up. That’s one that will stick with me for a while.

I hope every dad will shake off their anxiety and past worry and find ways to live in the now. Doing so will make moments that last a lifetime.  It’s easy to start. All you have to do is shake it off.

By Dan Farkas, Contributor

The Chilly Open Lives Up to its Claim as the “Best Winter Party in Town”

The Debits adorn the stage at the Chilly Open

An underrated Columbus event that has been rapidly climbing my rankings of events and festivals around town – even before having kids – is the Chilly Open. Put on by the Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club, the Chilly Open has taken place annually (the first Saturday in February to be exact) for 20 years. In those 20 years, the event has raised $2.5 million for local charities. The Rotary Club organizes and runs everything the day of, along with the help of 300 volunteers. Because of this support, all proceeds go to charity. Kroger and Papa John’s are the title sponsors, with an impressive list of local businesses and individuals chipping in too.

On paper, this event already has a lot going for it in my book. One, it’s in February, which is typically dreary, cold and lacking for things to do. Two, the Chilly Open lives at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, so it’s an excuse to come out to the Zoo in winter. All of the pavilions at the Water’s Edge Events Park are consumed by the Chilly Open. Conjoining them is a large heated tent where the main stage is located.

I’ll start with why this event is awesome for adults. Tickets are $45, which is an admittedly steep ticket price, especially if you and your wife go. But that ticket gets you four drinks (wine or Miller Lite draft). It also gets you unlimited food from 30 incredible food vendors that include local favorites Polaris Grill, Skyline Chili, Watershed Distillery, Bon Vie Bistro, Winking Lizard, Old Bag of Nails, City Barbecue, Cameron Mitchell, 101 Beer Kitchen, Asterisk Supper Club, and Koble to name a few. Each offers small plates and samples of their finest dishes and recipes.

That aforementioned stage houses local band The Debits for the majority of the five-hour day (noon-5 p.m.). They have a funny story in how they came together, but they rock out the Chilly Open every year. I was completely hooked well before their third John Mellencamp cover for the day. They are a fun group and completely interactive with the crowd, promoting dancing and fun with women, children and over-served gentlemen.

Bonus for Dom Tiberi, everyone’s favorite local sportscaster, serving as the emcee.

This is all great stuff, but what about the kids?

Superheroes at the Children's Open

Included in the price of admission is access to the Children’s Open in a separate heated, indoor facility. It’s a little kid’s fantasyland that includes face painting, animal visits, bounce houses, inflatable mazes, Wii games, food and drinks, laser tag, and seemingly endless activities. Kudos to the volunteers in costume adding to the thrill (honestly I think I was more psyched than any of the kids).

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We started our day there to let my daughter blow off some steam before transitioning to the Chilly Open. She’s only two, but kids 5-12 can be left without their parents. It’s wildly secure with matching wristbands for kids and their parents and a full staff of volunteers supervising all activities.

To cap the day, my daughter got a ride on the conveniently adjacent carousel for giving her mom and dad two solid hours at the Chilly Open.