Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Are we taking things too far?

Yesterday, when I picked up the Oldest Kidlet from school, he started begging me to bring Easter Eggs for their class egg-hunt “tomorrow” (or, today). As I was panicking about trying to figure out how to get the boys in and out of Target in a timely manner in the afternoon, I realized that I hadn’t heard anything about the egg hunt yet. Looking in his backpack, I found a slip announcing that it was this Friday.

Phew.

On the slip, it asked for parents to bring “pre-packaged Easter Eggs” in unopened bags. Or an unopened bag of candy and unopened Easter Egg packages that a parent volunteer will fill. Which reminded me of the note for the Valentine’s Day party that asked for store-bought cookies or snack-size packages of snacks.

I understand that they’re trying to make sure that these things are safe for kids… but isn’t this taking it too far? I was annoyed during the Valentine’s Day party because my son came home with all sorts of preservative filled treats that I wouldn’t feed him normally (in addition to the candy from his valentines that I was expecting). He had been so full of candy that he didn’t touch the food provided at the party, and brought it home with him- Cheez-its, a Capri Sun and granola bars that were made with HFCS. I’m not a health nut. I don’t ban my kids from having sweets or chips, since I love those things, too. I just try to balance things out. They get the chips with some healthy food. Or actual fruit juice instead of sugar water.

I understand the why. They wanted the convenience of individual packages and knowledge that these snacks were “safe,” but traded off any sort of nutrition for that. I couldn’t even supply actual fruit unless they were in convenience packs.

Is it so hard to ask that the Easter Eggs be filled with PACKAGES of easter candy? Why must I buy prefilled ones?

Sorry, I just miss the days when a class birthday party meant that occasionally you’d get sloppily frosted cupcakes made by a kids’ mom. (We’re asked not to bring in treats at his school for birthdays)

The preschool at the private school has sign up lists. Parents can bring in a jug of real fruit juice. There’s always a request for a fruit or vegetable. Something that makes me feel like there’s an attempt to have the parties be nutritious too.

Part of my annoyance is the nutrition factor. I guess the other is that I feel as though I’m being forced into a square peg. Two issues that really get under my skin.

Am I over-reacting, or is the school overreacting? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Carolyn Fodel

    Yes now we must bubble wrap our world!  Blech…..

  • Shemp DeYoung

    I agree that this kind of thing has gotten a bit out of control. However, (trying to be nice here) there are some parents whose homes/kitchens I would prefer not to expose my kids to.

    To be honest though, I always assumed that beyond the “icky” factor, a big part of requiring packaged foods for little kids was to make it easier for those who had food allergies.

    On a related note, I was shocked during a recent visit to the middle school by how much junk food is available in vending machines in the cafeteria. I realize it can be a source of income for the school, but I’d prefer my kids not have access to Mountain Dew or Powerade with their lunches.

    In my day we had one choice, white milk or chocolate. And it was a nickle. And we liked it! Alright, we didn’t like it, but I know we would not have been allowed to swill 24 oz Monster energy drinks with our “mystery burritos.”

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    I wish the request had to do with allergies, but as of yet there haven’t been any requests not to bring items that contain nuts or anything you’d think was related to allergies.  I think it’s to lessen the risk of kids being exposed to bacteria or bugs.  Either way, they never lay out why the policy is in place.  It’s just there.
    The school district’s lunch menu makes me laugh.  They have a whole key of symbols to try to mark allergens, but they only point out which dishes have pork. (Hint, it’s the pork sandwiches).  Never once do they use their symbols for items with wheat, soy, egg or nuts.  (It is astonishing how much worse the vending machine situations have gotten- I remember my middle school’s “school store” could only sell soda after school, not during lunch.

  • Kelly Stump

    In addition to the nutrition factor, which I agree is a big one when dealing with prepackaged foods, what about the environmental factor? I thought schools were trying to “go green” and reduce the amount of plastics and other waste that end up in the landfill. I work for a company that teaches environmental science, and schools are constantly asking us to emphasize REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE, yet they continue to serve lunches and snacks in these individually wrapped packages. Aren’t students confused by these mixed messages?

  • http://www.whitneydrake.com/ Whitney Drake

    A great point.  That part bothers me, too.  In fact, his kindergarten class actually asks the parents to bring in individual water bottles for the kids to drink (apparently them leaving the classroom to get the water fountain is disruptive) – instead of asking them to invest in an aluminum bottle or something reusable for the kids to drink from.