Homemade is best – except at school
Elizabeth over at Parenting Pink and her daughter created the most adorable Rice Krispie pops on Earth, topped with chocolate and the required sprinkles. They even painted the sticks.
Painted the sticks?! That would take gallons of paint in this house, by the time you account for the fingers, arms, faces, necks and, on a bad day, bellies that have to be covered as well. But I digress.
What a great idea, I thought. I'll have to file this one away for Big Guy's birthday next year.
Then I remembered: Oops. We don't do that here. All treats sent to school have to be store-bought, in order to protect children from ... From what? I'm not sure.
It's a trend that started years ago, long before the obesity epidemic gave it new impetus last fall.
Many districts implemented the rules after outbreaks of food-borne illness locally or out of fear after one occured somewhere else. A few cited allergy concerns. One in Iowa even blamed meth. As if cranksters are going to whip up a batch of cupcakes once they finish their cook for the night.
The irony is, I used to help parents sneak around the ban back in the day before kids, when I had time to decorate several cakes a week. I bought bakery boxes by the dozen and it was fairly easy to camouflage a home-baked goody by using one.
That won't work for me now, because the staff at school knows Big Guy's allergies mean I can't buy bakery goods.
So that leaves me with Chips Ahoy or Oreos or some other some other high fructose corn syrup-laden manufactured food with enough preservatives to negate the need for embalming when the time comes.
On other kids' birthdays, Big Guy eats the same thing. Just because it's manufactured doesn't mean it's safe for the food allergic. Quite to the contrary, in many cases.
These days, manufactured doesn't necessarily mean safe at all. Peanut butter, anyone? Which is why, in this economy in particular, bans on homemade goodies no longer make sense.
Why force parents to spend more than they have to by sending them to the local bakery or grocery store deli when they could bake treats at home for a lot less money? If there are parents who are concerned about contamination in home-baked goodies, simply let them opt their kids out - that's what Big Guy has to do now anyway.
Sure, some parents still would send store-bought goods, because they lack the time, skill or inclination to make something themselves.
But give those who are so inclined, as well as budget conscious, an option. An option that, these days, isn't considerably more risky than a treat cranked out in a big plant or local bakery.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.