Way back in September, at back to school night, I volunteered to bring the snack for the holiday party. Last week I received an email reminder from the class mothers to bring the snack, but with that reminder came the caveat that the snack must be nut-free, sesame seed-free and gluten-free.
It bears asking the question, why are we still serving snacks at school parties that are brought from home? In an era of allergies and in an obesity epidemic maybe the new “paradigm” should be food-free parties, because all these allergies turn the provider of food into a train wreck of fear. Gluten-free I could handle blindfolded with one arm tied behind my back, nut-free is ok too because enough of my kids have a friend with a peanut allergy...sesame seed-free kind of threw me.
Mind you, the celiac wasn’t mine this time! Yesterday's party was in my other son’s class, the one who lives for wheat containing carbohydrates. I really thought long and hard about this party snack---and I have to tell you in the crazy month of December, with only three weeks between Thanksgiving break and the start of holiday vacation AND two half days thrown in for teacher conferences—the last thing I had time for was worrying about this snack.
But, I think I worried enough to come up with a decent snack. I brought in grapes and ice cream sundae cups (strawberry and chocolate). The only mistake was bringing in two flavors, strawberry was definitely not cool. I was just grateful that no one had a dairy allergy because then perhaps I would have resorted to carrot sticks to accompany the grapes.
The real point is that kids have food issues by the dozens these days and too many of these kids are overweight, so I think as adults, we need to refocus kids' gatherings away from food. Perhaps these elementary school parties should include a movement game, a craft and a story and call it a day! I don’t think that sounds bah humbug at all.