Plea to Parents: Can We Stop Celebrating with Food?

The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer and with that brings the beginning of the close to this school year. A time where kids are wildly excited and parents get crazy anxious over how they are going to survive another summer home with the kids. With it also brings celebrations at school — dessert parties, surprise treats brought in from the parents and summer treat picnics.

With all that also brings up my fears and anxieties. You would think it has to do with how am I going to manage three kids home full time while working full time at home, but it’s an entirely different set of fears.

I worry that my daughter will be left out of the school fun. I worry that she will get sick from the celebrations. I worry that her celiac disease will be overlooked when she should also be having fun celebrating.

Food is such a huge part of our societies life — it’s the main focus in birthday parties (cake!), it’s a focus in weddings (the cake!), and is usually in the centre of nearly all social gatherings. I get it — I mean we totally need that stuff to live and it’s delicious and can turn a bad mood into a great mood, but guess what — it’s not all safe for all people.

So, as school draws to a close and we all get the “I am going to be the best mom of my kids class” urge to bring in those adorable pinterest-inspired home-baked cupcakes as a surprise for the kids, please think twice. Do you know for sure that there is not a child (or two) who doesn’t have a food related issue? Are you going to celebrate with the class — minus those one or two kids who will be sitting at a table unable to participate?

I am all for being the “cool mom” in the class — totally for it, but as a parent who has a child who will be left out if you bring in those “ooh look at me I am the best” cupcakes, I am urging you to go a different route.

— Celebrate without food. —

Bring in stickers, or bubbles or those noisy-kazzoo-things that drive us all crazy. Bring in cute homemade crafts or pencils or crayons. Bring in something that is a lot less likely to make a child feel left out of the end-of-school celebrations, because they deserve to celebrate too.

Think outside the box — but think of others who are outside what you know. Parents will thank you, children will remember and all-around it’s better for everyone.

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