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Bake Sale Ban Gives Nod to Store Bought Over Homemade

bake-sale-cupcakes-300x225If you’re a parent who thinks homemade is the way to go, a new rule in New York City schools will leave you baffled.

After first banning bake sales outright, the city has compromised by agreeing to let a certain amount of pre-made foods go on the auction block for fundraisers.

Yes, you read that right – pre-made, store bought foods just got the nod over wholesome homemade goods.

The reason, according to CBS News, is school officials can’t guess the content of homemade foods, and store-bought brands carry the nutrition content. The whole reason for the proposed ban was childhood obesity, so the push toward gauging the nutritious content of foods is supposed to help assuage that concern.

Except as many parents have pointed out, the advantage to going homemade is that we can avoid a lot of the preservatives and other unhealthy things that are slipped into pre-packaged foods. The new rules limit the bake sale items to a 200-calorie per serving limit, but that doesn’t do much to keep out high fructose corn syrup.

As a parent, I try to limit how much sweet stuff  my daughter consumes, but I confess I’d prefer she eat a batch of my home baked brownies than a pre-packaged container.

Buying at a bake sale, I love testing out the concoctions coming out of other parents’ kitchens.  And the urge to buy bake sale goods is usually turned off when I’m faced with a table full of pre-made foods. I’d rather flip some money in the jar for the charity and go off on my merry way. It defeats the purpose of a bake sale.

A local school tried something similar to this a few years back – they banned all parents from sending homemade goodies in their kids’ lunches for much the same reason. There was no calorie content on the outside, and they claimed they feared parents weren’t making things in the safest manners at home. In other words – we don’t have restaurant kitchens, so we can’t cook healthy food for our kids.

Considering the American Academy of Pediatrics told us last year one of the keys to fighting childhood obesity is to kick out pre-packaged, processed foods, why is there this push in the other direction by our schools? Sure, store bought foods are easier to deal with, but considering teachers complain that today’s parents are lazy perhaps it’s time the pot starts examining itself before it points fingers at the kettle.

Image: Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake, flickr

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