Store baked goodies vs. Homemade goodies

[deleted account] ( 24 moms have responded )

The trend in many schools is to being in store-baked goodies in the original packaging when celebrating a birthday or special occassion. I do understand the reason: too many allerigies out there. Also, you may have sickos who put poisons into home-baked goodies. I understand, but don't agree. I'm the kind of mom who loves to bake cupcakes for my son's birthday. At his preschool last year, I asked if I was allowed to bring in homebaked cupcakes or if they had to be store bought. Yay! I was allowed to make homemade cupcakes. At his previous daycare, goodies had to be store bought. At my son's current elementary school, everything is to be store-bought.



Thoughts? Opinions? Does store bought goodies really prevent allergies over a box of Betty crocker cake mix because of the ingredient list? Or is it to protect against evil harm-doers with sickening our kids with poison?

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Caitlin - posted on 09/23/2010

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Cupcakes and treats aren't education of the students and there are plenty of ways to make a kid feel special on his/her birthday. Going front of the line, stickers, whatever, no need to shove everyones face full of sugar and crap.. My dislike for these events has nothing to do with the allergies in fact, it's mostly that I don't want my kid eating treats 30 days out of the school year on top of holidays and treats she gets at home..

Petra - posted on 09/23/2010

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I think its probably so that the ingredient list is there for everyone to see - not that mothers' home-baked goods can't be trusted, but they probably want to make the margin for human error as small as possible.

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Caitlin - posted on 09/24/2010

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Kati - most moms wont remember if they used a knife for peanut butter and margarine, and reuse that samme tub of margarine (or pound of butter) that has traces of peanut butter on it.. It's really easy to overlook something like - most people don't think of those things!

Rosie - posted on 09/24/2010

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i think it could potentially be worse for allergies actually!! some people don't list allergens on the packages. at least with homemade you know exactly what is in each one and whether or not it touched a peanut somewhere.
i've never heard of this before sharon. it seems very strange to me. couldn't people poison store bought cupcakes as well? needle and syringe, and its laced. not to mention it's be pretty damn stupid to lace something that could be tracked back to you personally, instead of the store which anyone could've poisoned. seems a bit backwards, imo.

Alison - posted on 09/24/2010

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I think it is an unfortunate consequence of the information age. The school wants to cover it's butt! Without having people sign forms and such, it is a high risk for them to trust every mom that comes through the door with a cake. Not that she necessarily intends to harm anyone, but a frazzled mom could easily inadvertantly put someone at risk.

Be sure to have a home-made b-day party at home and be grateful that your children's educators are so cautious about the safety of the other children.

[deleted account]

Yes, the store-bought products is sad, but it's only for the school party. I'm happy to make a batch of cupcakes anytime I want to at my home. I'm also not the trouble-maker kind of parent who has to challenge and contest a school/district policy. Actually, it's more convenient to make baked goodies at home. At the store bakery, it might take 15 miuntes to make a silly decision on what to buy and then multiply buy the # of kids in class! It would be easier to send in baked goodies, but it's not the end of the world.

Sherri - posted on 09/24/2010

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Our school promotes home baked goodies and often asks parents to bake for school functions. We also don't have any restrictions in our school so that makes it easier as well.

Schmoopy - posted on 09/24/2010

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Whatever the reason, this trend is sad and disturbing. Store bought is never as good as homemade - it's less wholesome and it doesn't taste as good!

[deleted account]

I asked my daughter's teacher for a list of allergies and food preferences (i.e. how many kids are allergic to nuts and how many kids are vegetarians), then I made goodies based on that. I ended up making rice crispy treats cut into hearts with a cookie cutter (using gluten free marshmallows from our local gluen free market - I LOVE that store!) and I also made a few with vegan marshmallows (no animal fat) for a couple of the kids that were vegetarians (then I put them in a seperate container). All in all, I spent about $5.00 more that I would have by buying from the store, and I was able to cater to every kid in the class :)

[deleted account]

Store bought is for the ingredient list and also for the preparation... maybe there are no nuts in the cookies, but what about the microscopic peanut traces still on the counter from the sandwich that was made earlier.....

That, I believe, is the reasoning behind the rule and I agree w/ it.

Kate CP - posted on 09/23/2010

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At my daughter's school they will allow the kids to bring something for their birthday but only if it's NOT a cake and DOESN'T have frosting on it. I usually opt for angel food cake and fruit on top (no strawberries since there are kids in the class with allergies). The kids love it and I don't feel too bad for giving it to them.

[deleted account]

Caitlin, I am sure you have above and beyond issues with your daughter's allerigies, and as a parent you have to take extraordinary measures to protect her. But the make the statement "I'm against bringing treats into class for every birthday, holiday and everything" seems overboard and a bit extreme. Think of it this way: there are so many kids whose ONLY birthday acknowledgement is through the school. They DON'T have birthday parties outside of the school. They DON'T have any other holiday celebration. School is the only place of acknowledgement to celebrate a birthday and if the policy is store-packaged only, then for that birthday kid, it is a special moment. The schools will always deal with kids with allergies, and when I traveled among 5 different elementary schools, there were always "peanut-free or allergy zone" classrooms. But of course as a parent, you have a right to send your child to school with any baked product that you seem appropriate for your child's health. For some parents, store-bought is the most convenient way to go in order to celebrate a special birthday. Your child does not have to participate in that celebration. As a parent, I won't intentionally alienate another child, but I am not going out of my way to accommodate someone else's child IF it's something my own son would not eat.
I am not in any way knocking on allergies either. I am sure it's above frustration in trying to protect your child. There was a very recent story of a parent with 2 severly allergic children, grades 2 & 3. Both kids had this huge laundry list of allergies, and it was simply not feasbile for the school to comply with the demands of each kid. Both were practically segregated and the mom made a stink. She is a single mom otherwise the news segment said she would homeschool. But, the school can accomondate those with the peanut allergies but these 2 children, well it seemed like everything in school was something to be allergic to ranging from food, to the soap in the dispensers, the cleaning products, the white board markers, to pencil shavings. At what point is it safer for the child to pull the him/her form a public school setting and homeschool? At what point does a school have to bend over backwards and disrupt the education of all of the other students?

Caitlin - posted on 09/23/2010

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I bake a ton of stuff from home. But that's because I deal with allergies. When my daughter is in school, I dont' care HOW careful the parent is, she will not eat ANYTHING baked at another home. For her with multiple allergies, there is too much risk that the same spoon is used for two things, of the baking sheet still has butter residue on it from a previous batch of cookies. That and understanding the "may contain" labels on foods is confusing, and some parents may not understand the lack of a warning does not mean the product is safe, and there are misleading ingredients (like "whey" is a dairy protein) that non-allergic parents might not understand.

I'm against bringing treats into class for every birthday, holiday and everything, it's too risky, but other than that, it's just NOT safe. I have no idea what kind of school my daughter will go to, but i'll make sure it's one that has acceptable prevention in place. If need be, I will volunteer to bake cupcakes/cookies or whatever for ALL the parties to ensure they are safe, or alternately I will send her with a similar treat if I have to, or keep her home if it is too dangerous.

Most of the store bought snacks are unsafe as well for her, though if some kid brought in a box of oreos if would be fine (as long as it was sealed). I don't like the stuff added into store bought foods, the ingredients lists are just disgusting, but I must say on occasion, i'll pick up some safe animal crackers because I can't make EVERYTHING from scratch all the time.

There is a great company based near here, all their products are peanut,nut, dairy and egg free and a lot of schools will allow those only, and only if they are sealed. They are also fresh made and not packed full of preservatives, so you order if from an affiliated bakery and the cake is delivered there SEALED and you pick it up there. It's a great idea and well worth the extra few bucks.

I gotta say though, I make desserts of all types that are dairy/egg/peanut/nut/soy free and nobody would ever know, they love them and come back from seconds, and ask for my recipies. All it takes is a little creativity.

Kate CP - posted on 09/23/2010

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I run a baking business on the side during the holidays (yes, I do ship and yes, everything is home made with real butter, sugar, unbleached flour, organic fruits, etc) so to me, buying baked goods is kinda...dumb. But I'm a baker, so to me it's not a big deal to bake a loaf of bread. Speaking of, I need to go start my next round of pumpkin spice breads. They taste like cake. :)

Meghan - posted on 09/23/2010

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I love baking! And the thing that most people don't realize is there ARE recipes out there for cakes/cupcakes/muffins that don't include egg, dairy, peanuts...whatever the case is. I have made some awesome goodies for play group omitting certain ingredients because of allergies. A lot of times when you buy store bought, you are getting preservatives and god knows what else.

[deleted account]

The ice cream sundae buffet sounds like a cool idea too! As long as I can stick a "6" candle into it and have the kids sing Happy Birthday! I figured that if I do the decorate your own cupcake, I can control the amount of icing on each cupcake!

[deleted account]

Oh, I wasn't suggesting that you were arguing over it. I hope it didn't sound like I was. =)

I agree that most of the store bought stuff is way too sugar filled. But that's what makes them so de-licious! Cute idea letting the kids decorate their own. You could also set up an ice cream sundae buffet and let them have at that too.

[deleted account]

I agree it's petty to argue over, being that it's more a parent big deal than the kid. I mean, the kids just want to chow down and probably could care less if they are homemade or store bought. Of course I'll abide by the school policy. This came up because yesterday my son said they had a birthday party in school, and there were Princess cupcakes for the girls and Spiderman cupcakes for the boys. Ya know, the ones heavily iced up with the rings inserted? Ick...so much icing! Maybe for my son's birthday (not until Feb.) I can send in Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts-they don't have icing. Ironically, for my son's party....again, in February, I'll make a batch of cupcakes and various colored icing, set out a buffet table and let each kid decorate their cupcake.

[deleted account]

I never thought of that being an issue. I think requiring store bought is kind of silly (even though I will probably bring store-bought when my kid is in school, I'm not a baker), but I do see the point. I guess I'll just comply with the rules of the school. This is something too trivial to make a stink over.

Joanna - posted on 09/23/2010

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I love my daughter's preschool... my daughter had the first birthday in her class, so I got the birthday-treat list, and it said specifically "store-bought goodies will be thrown in the trash." They really focus on nutrition which I love. So for her birthday I made from scratch her favorite apple-cinnamon muffins, and they were a hit.

[deleted account]

It doesn't matter at our school. Most of the mothers do make home made treats, but I suck at it, so I tend to order cupcakes from a local baker and tell her to "make them sloppy" so it looks like I made them.

Our school tries to group the children with severe allergies into two classes per grade level. If we are baking stuff for the whole school, like bake sale stuff or Muffin Fridays then they have to be home made and they have to be nut-free. I have paid the baker to make stuff for me for those things too--she makes it from scratch anyway and just puts it in my own containers, so no one knows. I just can't bake.....

[deleted account]

Well, store-bought often are filled with crap... to me that's the poison. (I'm not a saint or a freak, i do buy them from time to time). I think that before allowing parents to bring homemade goods, they should be given some strict guidelines and given documentation on allergies and how to avoid contaminating the food with allergens. Moreover, if a child in the class has any type of allergy, it should be made clear to the parent baking and the parent of all the children. I also think the person who bakes should refrain from using the ingredients which are allergens. I think parents should be advised that there will be homemade goodies and they can make the choice to allow it for their child or send them to daycare with a safe and appropriate food for them.

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