Yes, you heard correctly: “cupcakes”.

Remember the good old days when Moms got bake something special for their child’s birthday? They’d whip up a batch of cupcakes, decorate them in seasonal colors or make unique designs, and drop them off at school for the whole class? My birthday is the day after St. Pat’s, so often my cupcakes had green-tinted frosting and/or a shamrock on top. Of course, back then, the moms did all the cooking for school lunches, including baking cookies for the entire school, in their home kitchens.

Nowadays, of course, this is considered too dangerous.

I suppose because the grocery stores are inspected and have their refrigeration system checked regularly, as well as cleanliness, storage, and so forth; but who, exactly works in these kitchens? People who also have kitchens at home, presumably – doesn’t anyone think that perhaps they practice safe cooking at home too? Or maybe they keep a filthy kitchen and no one wants to eat a thing that comes out of it – or maybe they just don’t wash their hands at home; there’s a law and hand-washer-inspector at a commercial place?

I know several people who have gotten sick after eating at a restaurant; I know no one who got sick after eating at someone’s home, unless they picked up a flu bug or something. I have never, ever, heard of a child getting sick from a school party. In fact, in eight years of parochial school, birthday cupcakes, holiday parties, what-have-you, no one got sick.

Then again, I never knew anyone who broke their head open riding a bike without a helmet; surely there were some, but come on, America – we can’t protect everyone all the time!

Today I called a dozen bakeries to find sugar-free cupcakes. There are none who make them or sell them. None. I asked the school, a small, parochial one, if we could make an exception to homemade food for a party tomorrow. The answer, of course was “no”. The school board will not allow it.

Now, I know some of the board members; some are my age, at least, and all surely remember homemade treats in school. What in the world is their reasoning? That someone has a dirty kitchen, inadequate storage, or doesn’t wash their hands? Having worked in food service for a number of years, there are commercial facilities that have serious issues with these things, and more.

In fact, my son recently bought a slushie from a commercial business which had been spiked with alcohol. I have to assume that was okay, because the store had been inspected and had a license, right?
Wrong! Who would you trust more with your child’s health and well-being? A nameless, faceless individual, or another parent whose child would also be consuming the very same treats? I’d pick the second choice, quite frankly.

But wait, perhaps there’s a third choice – premade, prepackaged treats. Now, those are healthy, right? Wrong again. Refined sugar, and lots of it, and a ton of preservatives and “flavoring”, versus actual ingredients and flavor. Cheap, too, most of them – there’s a bargain, right? Nope, wrong again.

I say go back to those good old days and let parents be parents and kids be kids – make parties and holidays fun again, and feed the kids a little healthier fare instead of packaged crap and overpriced commercial sugar blobs. Sheesh, no wonder kids are overweight and have cholesterol through the roof and other health issues. Read the package, school boards, and bring some sanity back to our classrooms and lunchrooms.


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