Targeting homemade

November 1, 2009 at 4:59 pm (Daily Criteria, School) (, , )

I’ve been trying not to get all riled up by one of the Northshore School District policies.   I’ve already decided that it’s not worth my time to fight the beast about it, but I still lay awake thinking about it one night last week.  So my final therapeutic measure is to blog about it.

The district won’t allow any homemade foods to be brought it for sharing.  On birthdays and special occasions, we are invited to bring in store-bought items.

On the one hand, this policy is more lenient then some schools with a school-wide nut-free policy.  I don’t have to worry about foods I send with my kids on a daily basis.  But at least a nut-free policy serves to protect kids from something that can harm, if the school has one of those kids with the misfortune of a life-threatening nut allergy.

A store-bought only policy for “treat days” doesn’t serve to protect anybody.  The bad-fat-laden, preservative-filled cupcakes that are the store-bought norm are not safe for plenty of kids with allergies.  They won’t get to eat them anyway.  Yes, its safety for those kids can be confirmed by a label.  I’d argue, though, that those foods are not really “safe” for anybody to eat. 

Homemade goods can be labeled also.  Yes, you’d have to trust the parents’ ability to label completely, and minimize crossover contamination.  If a child is really really allergic to many foods, he could choose (or be instructed) not to eat questionable items, or even all homemade.  He probably isn’t getting to eat a lot of the store-bought stuff either and is already used to needing alternate snacks.

I want to be clear- I know having a life-threatening allergy sucks, and I in no way want to make it harder.  I’ve happily dealt with bringing daily snacks to other schools that required no nuts, and I’ve made plenty of homemade foods for people who can’t eat nuts, or eggs, or dairy, or even wheat.  I just don’t understand why being allergic means you’d go more towards store-bought.  In fact, I know if one of my kids was allergy-prone, I’d be baking even more, to enable them to still eat many favorite foods safely.

Making homemade foods (and other non-food items) is truly part of our family’s core values.

 Homemade means to us:

  • More nutritious- and I don’t just mean our treats lack the “bad stuff”.  In a birthday treat, I typically still use at least partially whole grains, and utilize some “add-ins” that add extra nutrition.  And I promise, I do it so the kids don’t notice.
  • Quality time spent together making food
  • That the food maker cares about you
  • Cheaper- almost always, and often significantly
  • More individualized- last year for their birthday, the boys got a spider and a saber tooth tiger cake.  Their favorite animals.

        Happy Birthday P!  Happy Birthday A!

This post might read like it, but I’m really not a Nazi about not eating store-bought treats.  Writing this a day post-Halloween, I really have no room to talk about an abstinence-only policy.  We eat store-bought junk food plenty.  I just think this policy is non-sensical, and teaches kids a sad message.  That store-bought is better- a special treat for birthdays, when in reality it’s not even close to better.

So I told my husband I’d send in apples for the boys’ birthday.  He looked at me like I’d lost my mind.  I won’t, really.  I’m not going to ostracize them as the dudes with the crazy mama.  I’ll buy something sugary.  And I might even eat one.  I thought of something funny, though.  Technically, if we had the apple orchard I long for, and I dared to buck the sugar-trend and brought in our apples, they’d be homemade.  Uh-oh.


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