Farewell to a Home-Baked Friend

More bake sale news. This time, a goodbye to all homemade treats at a Long Island school — complete with a farewell cake. Maybe instead of selling cupcakes, kids in afterschool clubs can sell their blood? — Lenore

31 Responses

  1. I was shocked to learn that my kids’ public school did not allow home-made shared treats of any kind – birthday cupcakes, holiday cookies, anything. So stupid.

  2. Oh, and it had nothing to do with wellness. Store-baked cupcakes are welcome.

  3. it makes you wonder why the majority are being ruled by the minority when you can’t find anyone that supports a rule but a few people who made the decision for everyone else.

  4. So, if it isn’t to do with wellness, then it has to be one of two issues 1) allergies and 2) not wanting those kids whose parents can’t bring in home made treats to feels bad.

    I don’t even want to bring up Issue 3) the notion that a school suspects that a parent’s home-baked treats might be intentionally contaminated (see Halloween discussions)

    So – let’s deal with #1 – on the surface a nice idea, with the lists of ingredients so helpfully on the side and all. However, trace ingredients here are the devil in the details. And no one can say that the local grocery store is any better at cleaning their equipment in between the batches than a home cook. So, if we feel it necessary we could have all of parents simply list all of the ingredients used, down to brand if necessary.

    Issue #2 -which I only bring up because a co-worker’s school said that this was an underlying reason for their no home baked treats rule. (i suspect that someone’s mom was a real overachiever and perhaps a little bit of a guilt inducer as well) Well that is just stupid! Brownies from home cost me way less to make than to buy, I trust the ingredients that I buy more than the over processed ingredients in the store bought treats and it was always a great way to pick up a few new recipes.

    Just my thoughts – my fondest memories are of the variety of tupperware containers and the goodies they held at the school parties of my youth.

  5. The main article does indeed suggest that it is health that motivates the new rules:

    “Under the wellness policy that takes effect Monday, all snack foods would have to meet nutrition guidelines set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation or the New York State Nutrition Association’s Choose Sensibly guidelines.

    Items on the association’s guidelines include snacks such as baked chips, fruit pops made with real fruit, trail mix without nuts, low-fat pudding and animal crackers.”

    So store-bought cupcakes would also be banned. There’s also a linked article about how one side-effect of the ban will be an end to competitive parent snack giving – I have to say I agree that there’s sometimes an “arms-race” feel to all the treats parents send to school. I think it’s quite unnecessary for parents to send anything for other kids to eat unless it’s requested by the teacher (e.g. to eat in class at a party or to celebrate the kid’s birthday). Kids don’t need endless pointless snacks. My daughter takes one apple a day to school, and that’s all she needs apart from lunch, until dinner time. I hate my kids bringing home tons of candy from school on Halloween and Valentines day, and refuse to send anything. (I also refuse to buy valentines cards for my kids to give to their friends – if they want to give cards they can make their own). It’s all about the parents wanting to keep up with each other in my opinion. I especially hate goody bags full of edibles, and fully support a ban on those in school.

    However, I do support bake sales, and contribute to them at my daughter’s school. Wholewheat banana bread or muffins should surely satisfy the school’s new rules.

  6. Our school does not allow home-baked treats due to allergy concerns since it’s impossible to make sure they are truly free of the allergen. Cupcakes, cookies, etc are allowed for birthdays as an exception to the wellness policy which encourages healthier snacks for classes that do have in-class snacks (primarily K and 1).

    Our daycare has always had the no home-baked goods policy and my kids thought the same was true for school because as a working mother, I don’t have time to make cupcakes mid-week for 50 kids. our school is Spanish Immersion program and homerooms are paired in teams with the English and Spanish homerooms so you have to send a treat for both homerooms because they do recess as a team which is when they have the snack.

  7. I just saw the story, and clicked the link provided, the website is now offering a “page cannot be found error”

  8. All is not lost. At my older boy’s school the kids make and sell apple sauce. We have a fall festival coming up on the 24th and homebaked goods are not just encouraged, but solicited in high quantities.

  9. At the last preschool where I worked the policy was nothing homemade. I think you could make somethgng in the school kitchen though. The reason I heard was food safety, not intentionaly, but it just wasn’t something they could control. Also, my boss was generaly pretty open, so my guess is that wasn’t his rule, but licesencing or someones.

  10. If it’s because of allergies, “no homebaked” is completely worthless and meaningless. The distinction between allergenic and on-allergenic has nothing to do with whether something is made in a commercial or private kitchen, and it’s beyond foolish to think that commercial kitchens are inherently safer when it comes to allergens.

    If it’s about nutrition, it’s the same thing. What is the logic that says that storebought goods can be assumed to be healthy, and my homemade ones of a similar variety can’t? Am I supposed to believe that someone at the school is reading every nutritional label AND REALLY UNDERSTANDS IT? No, probably not. I’m just supposed to assume that because something HAS a label, you “can tell” if it’s healthy, which is the same thing as actually KNOWING it is.

    Or, do they think (my sneaking suspicion) that parents are going to make chocolate chip double sugar frosted shortening cakes and lie and say they’re bran muffins so that they can only be sure that things are really healthy if there’s a commercial label on them? You know what, if that’s what the school thinks of the people they are ASKING TO DONATE THEIR TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY, they’ll have to do without my help, and the help of any other parents who know when they’re been vilely insulted.

  11. BTW, some commercial kitchens are safer for allergens because they follow careful guidelines and never prepare allergenic foods there. But it’s not because they’re commercial kitchens, is my point.

  12. Goodbye cupcake. We’ll miss you.

    All of this baked good nonsense reminds me of something that happened in a town not too far from here. Every fall around (Canadian) thanksgiving, there was a flea market. In this flea market there was a pie stand with pies made by members of a certain church. One year they were no longer selling pies, just used clothing items and some hand made crafts. When I asked why, the ladies at the stand told me that the Health Unit will no longer allow the sale of any food that was not prepared in a kitchen that Health Unit has not inspected. Of course, the health inspection regulations were ridiculous – like you can’t clean the dishes in the same sink where you get the water you use for cooking.

  13. The parents in the article do not agree with this stupid decision, but all they are doing is baking one last time and then giving up? As a previous poster has said, the minority is forcing the majority to give up their freedom to bake things and raise money, have a birthday celebration, etc.

    Don’t just say part of childhood is dying — just say no and don’t give in!

    Someone in that town with kids at that school needs to have a massive bake-sale on their own and donate all the proceeds to the school district next door that doesn’t have the crazy policy. Invite the media. Get the word out that you are the parents and if you want your kid to eat or sell a homemade cupcake or brownie then by golly that’s what they will do, and the silly school won’t see any of the proceeds until they drop the stupid restrictions. Wellness my . . .

  14. The wellness factor is a whole different argument. While I don’t think we need a steady stream of cupcakes and cookies into the class rooms (they are called treats for a reason) teaching kids about moderation is a something that has and can be done. Enjoying a treat is a part of childhood. Letting them gorge on cupcakes and treats daily – well that’s just bad sense.

    Pentamom – amen to the notion of whether or not the teachers or administrators are actually reading the labels to determine whether they are actually healthy in the first place. I highly doubt they have the time or notion to do so with any real depth.

    As for the fairness notion, I understand that not everyone has the time to make treats at home. And no one should expect you to do so. Since my whole family home bakes I never got pre-packaged treats as a kid. I seriously dug the zebra cakes that one mom brought in and the Entermans (sp) cakes that another brought. It was like living in a whole new world. Believe me, to kids, a treat is a treat.

  15. Prepackaged snacks are better for you? What a load of cr@p. Ever looked at a list of ingredients on a package – the ones with all those little numbers listed? Lots of stuff in there that kids can react to. My son would die of starvation if no home-baked goods were allowed; he’s severely food intolerant and I bake from scratch for him every weekend!

  16. I’d really like to be outraged at this, but the thing is that the school board voted 7-2 to approve this. Most school boards are publicly elected, which means either these outraged parents elected these folks (and can unelect them when the time comes), or they don’t vote.

  17. I would have to say as a mom of children with food allergies, this would be hard for me. I feel sorry for the children that use the bake sales to raise money. I remember doing them for my cheerleading squad and my brothers’ sports teams.

  18. “Under the wellness policy that takes effect Monday, all snack foods would have to meet nutrition guidelines set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation or the New York State Nutrition Association’s Choose Sensibly guidelines.”

    I wonder if this is an actual ban on homemade goodies, or just on non-nutritious homemade goodies. I’m sure I could bake something tasty that also met the nutritional guidelines, unless the guidelines are just a list of approved foods complete with brand names.

    Hmm, well, I’ll Google those guidelines. The article first lists the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation” guidelines. I found a nutrition calculator for it:
    http://www.healthiergeneration.org/companies.aspx?id=2530 but it works off “Nutrition Facts” which would make it hard to use for home-baked goodies. Next the article lists as an alternate qualification the “New York State Nutrition Association’s Choose Sensibly guidelines”. Googling that, I managed to find actual guidelines on this page: http://www.nyssfsa.org/sensibly_item.cfm?itemid=9741&catid=2107 listing limits on fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt.

    So, as far as I can tell from the article and guidelines, one could bring homemade treats so long as they were healthy homemade treats. Which doesn’t sound so bad. Though since I haven’t been able to find specifics on the policy, I don’t know if that is actually the case.

  19. “It’s hard to put a birthday candle in carrot”…

    (my husbands response to finding out that cupcakes are banned at our childs school as well)

    Fare-thee-well my beloved cupcake…..

  20. Ohhh. the more I read the more happy I am about where I live. However the stupidity tentacles reach far and wide around the world so I’m sure it won’t be long. We don’t have this cake issue at our little school, so in celebration I’m sending my daughter to school with a homemade cake tomorrow to share with her class…..just because.

  21. Our schools, including the private preschool have this same policy. The preschool I understand, as they are licensed like a daycare by the state & have to follow their insane rules. The public schools on the other hand, really annoys me. I now have to spend about 5X the money to buy cupcakes or whatever for a birthday than I would if I made them, even from a mix! In trying to keep the kids with allergies “safe”, I think they’ve trashed a tradition that doesn’t even affect many of the classes where there are no children with allergies.

  22. I agree with Cath. If this school district believes processed, pre-packaged snacks are ‘healthy’, they’re sadly mistaken. I bet no one checked the sodium content in the ‘acceptable’ items.

  23. In the 7 years I’ve had kids in the elementary school in our neighborhood, we have never been able to have homemade treats…I understand the allergy concerns…but yet here’s another example of where we make changes to all to appease a few. We don’t want to make that one kid “different” by having their parents send in a packaged treat for them on birthday treat day…I completely agree with Lori. Those stupid cupcakes from the grocery store are crazy expensive. (And can we stop sending in “swag bags”? Parents don’t need to prove their love for their child by sending in a bag of junky toys to hand out. Maybe we should protest them as possibly containing lead.)

  24. pc run amuck. these children are being taught to fear any food not commercialy produced and government approved. i have multilpe allergies to food additives and as aresult make most of my food from scratch. when my daughters were in high school and taking home and careers[home ec] they didn’t teach them to cook[ it wasn't safe!] they taught them how to order out. luckily they learned at home from the time they were little and generally don’t like the taste og pricessed food. just wait the next thing will be they can’t bring lunches in from home because they don’t meet government nutritional standards. take a stand NOW!

  25. [...] Babylon district policy goes into effect that allows only prepackaged snacks.” [Newsday via Free-Range Kids; [...]

  26. Wait a minute. What are “swag bags”? Never heard of them…but it sounds like I might not want to?

  27. The allergy thing is a red herring. Most commercial bakeries have warnings they can not guarantee that products will not be free of traces of peanuts and other severe allergens.

    My school district won’t allow homemade treats. I’ve been told it was part of settlement after a bunch of kids got food poisoning from something sold at bake sale. The Health department traced it to a filthy kitchen of one parent.

  28. @kherbert
    I agree about the allergy excuse being illogical. Many products easily avoid litigation on this issue by printing a small warning on the label: This product was made in a facility that also processes tree nuts, peanuts, or whatever.

    In fact, just about every restaurant prints a little warning on their menu about consuming raw or undercooked seafood or beef.

    Why can’t the schhol post a sign like this at a bakesale? These products are homemade and may contain milk, eggs, peanuts, etc. Purchase at your own risk. Send a similar note home at the beginning of each year and allow parents to opt their kid out of homemade treats. Simple.

    Instead we get draconian “everybody loses their freedom” rules, and those who question them get “It’s for your own good. There was an incident [once?] with a dirty kitchen.”

    Ask to see the settlement. Say you want to understand exactly what’s allowed and what’s not, so you’d like to read it yourself. I bet no one can find a copy. What court would allow all future generations of parents to be punished for one person’s dirty kitchen?

  29. As a parent of children with multiple food allergies, I HATE those stupid rules about only bringing in storebought goodies. I try to let my kids have as normal a life as possible, so whenever there are refreshments served I like to volunteer to bring some, so that my kids can go through the line with everyone else and just take the treat that I know is safe for them to eat. But to buy a treat like that? They don’t sell them here in our town, I’d have to drive 35 miles to the nearest big city and plunk down a fortune for a tiny sack of crumbly cookies that are allergen free. That, or I have to furtively slip my kids a homemade cookie off in the corner (they’ll let me bring in homemade stuff for my own kids, just not for general consumption). Like they don’t already feel different enough having to eat a cookie that no one else is eating.

    I don’t get why they do it. They don’t get kickbacks from local bakeries. To my knowledge there hasn’t been a huge problem with people dying from food poisoning from cookies that they’re serving to their own kids as well as everyone else’s. Are cookies that much more nutritious when they’re cooked in a kitchen with a triple sink???

  30. You know, I think I’ve come up with a solution. I know where I can get the kind of plastic containers they put storebought cookies in. And I can print labels on my computer.

    What the safety nannies don’t know won’t hurt them!

  31. @Wacky Hermit As an adult with life threatening allergies – YOU ROCK. My parents had a similar outlook. I was taught to ask, read labels, and trust my gut feeling. I’m alive and healthy. I work in an elementary school – where the kids know about my allergy and other kids allergies. They protect each other. For example the 2 classes I teach know they need to wash their hands after eating lunch if they had a peanut product. They warn both me and the student with PA that they have it before opening it. If a new student comes in and has a snack with peanuts – the student nearest them will warn the politely they need to wash their hands after lunch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,095 other followers

%d bloggers like this: