Trumbull ‘Cupcake Wars’ aims to teach kids about public health

TRUMBULL — The Public Health Cupcake Wars drew nearly two dozen children to the Trumbull Library Tuesday to learn about public health issues.

Some kids knew the assignment, such as Lyla DelRossi, 11, who decorated her cupcake in a beach theme as a nod to water safety. Davis Burke, 8, also chose a water theme and decorated his cupcake like a pool.

Davis’s mom, Jenn Burke said she thought the cupcake event would be a fun activity. “My kids love all of the baking challenges on TV,” she said. “It’s fun for him to get to do this and make the mess some place else.”

Having fun was the main reason some kids showed up.

Sarah Ayres, for example, said the pink flower she decorated her cupcake with has nothing to do with public health.

“I think flowers are pretty,” said the 12-year-old, who was one of 22 children who registered for Public Health Cupcake Wars.

The event invited children in kindergarten through eighth grade to decorate cupcakes with a public health theme. This could be anything from food safety, to water safety to infectious disease prevention, said Trumbull public health director Lucienne Bango.

“It’s pretty broad,” she said.

The point of the event was to get young people in the area more interested in their public health department and what they do, said Susan Jacozzi, a health educator with the health department.

“Most people only know those of us in public health when they need us,” she said, adding that those occasions include giving vaccinations for various illnesses.

Jacozzi said the Trumbull health department is taking various steps to help young people see the broader implications of public health. In June, the department hosted a day camp that showed kids what it was like to be a health inspector. Campers conducted pool inspections, concession stand inspections, and learned about the environment.

The cupcake event was another program intended to teach young people about all the many topics covered under the mantle of public health. The participants were given cupcakes and access to multiple colors of icing, sprinkles and a wide variety of candies and other decorations. Each cupcake decorator got a certificate and a rubber scraper.

At the end of the day, wooden spoons were given to those with the best cupcakes.

Though Sarah’s flower cupcake wasn’t entirely in sync with the health theme, she said she was having a good time.

“I wanted to do something fun, and I like decorating things,” she said.