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My Kid Didn’t Make Your Kid Fat, So Let Her Have a Cookie

October 18, 2009

Last week I received the annual email from a parent who is organizing Ava’s class Halloween party. The email included the all-important dietary restrictions paragraph with obligatory nut allergy warning.

I get it.  If your kid eats peanuts, smells peanuts, looks at peanuts or reads a Snoopy cartoon, he’ll go into anaphylactic shock.  I understand this and am sensitive to it. Really. And this year, there are a couple of people who can’t eat refined sugar. Okay, got it.

But this email contained a little bonus commentary. Underneath the nut allergy warning was:

“It is responsible, concerning America’s obesity epidemic and being polite to others, to be respectful and to bring healthy snacks and treats.”

Umm…did I just get schooled…by a parent I’ve never met…in a classroom email?

Seriously? You’re telling me it’s irresponsible to bring good old, traditional, nut-free candy to my kid’s class party because of America’s obesity epidemic? I thought this was a second grade Halloween party, not a forum for socio-political statements on how to raise other people’s children.

I’m all for making healthy snack choices available, but c’mon, it’s a Halloween party. I’m much more worried about an even more frightful epidemic sweeping America:  over-sensitivity and lack of personal responsibility.

Do we need to make an entire class of second graders suffer through an organic, sugar-free Halloween in order to raise awareness that our country is too fat?  Deviled eggs and cucumber sandwiches are perfect for a Junior League lunch hosted by Betty Draper, but a random poll of seven-year-olds shows a strong inclination toward frosted pumpkin cookies and cookie crumb dirt cups crawling with creepy gummy worms.  (both of which can be made to accommodate most dietary restrictions)

Our kids need to learn personal responsibility. Mason’s friend Jack has a SEVERE peanut allergy. And every year after trick-or-treating, the kids dump their candy bags out on the floor and Jack starts trading his peanut-laden booty for candy he can safely eat. Point is, Jack’s parents have taught him what is okay for him to eat and what is not and to be PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for his consumption. The same goes for obesity. If your kid has a weight issue (which none of the kids in the class have, BTW) then teach them how to eat right instead of thrusting your food issues onto other children. And if my kid has a weight issue, it’s really none of your GD business.

So, am I being over-sensitive?
Tell me what you think.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    October 18, 2009 7:38 pm

    AMEN! You stated that perfectly!

  2. ghettoblackify permalink
    October 18, 2009 10:07 pm

    haha.. nice

  3. October 18, 2009 10:52 pm

    I agree with a but . . . the parent was preachy and rude with what she said, agreed. I also agree we must be responsible for our choices – not get taxed for buying a soda. Hello!

    I do get concerned with the amount of food — crappy food — sugary food that the kids get in school. I totally oppose rewarding kids with food of any kind at school. At home, parents can make that choice – and yes, I did for potty training. But, I don’t want my child to think – yeah, I did good, now I eat — for everything! It is hard enough for me not to do that and I’m an adult. Plus, in our family, we don’t allow candy except for Halloween. At all. So, when she comes home with sweet tarts and whatever else, it pisses me off that I wasn’t even asked. (Unlike a party where you know what’s up and can choose to provide alternatives or just not attend.) Some teachers are worse than others. Not to mention, every other week it’s someone’s birthday.

    Yes, allergy kids do know. But, it’s unfair, especially for the little ones who don’t yet understand why they’re the only one who can’t have . . . . whatever. I can’t tell you how many birthday parties my 4 year old has cried at b/c she’s dairy intolerant and I forgot to bring something for her. (no pizza, no cake, no ice cream, no pressure, mom.)

    Parties are different though. Agreed.

    • Kristin Steiner permalink*
      October 19, 2009 7:38 am


      Thanks for the comment.

      I agree with NOT rewarding your kids with food. In fact, I’ve tried that as a last resort for various different parenting challenges along the way (potty training, chores etc.) and it totally didn’t work. My kids aren’t that into food/candy. However I can see where this could get out of hand for some kids.

      Food allergies/restrictions are so tough, especially when they are little. But I don’t know a single parent who wouldn’t step up to the plate and accommodate a kid with special food needs at a group party, without having to be called out.

      In our experience with the older kids is by the time they are in elementary school they are used to it and it becomes a non-issue.

  4. Lisa permalink
    October 19, 2009 12:41 pm

    Totally agree with you Kristin…Food allergies totally suck for kids (we have 2 with peanut allergies) however, they have to just get used to it. It is what it is. If i food allergy is the worst thing they have to deal with they are lucky compared to kids with real physical,emotional and handicap issues. But these crazy over the top moms only make it worse on their child!!!! parents being over the top contributes to the child thinking they are soooo different and should feel bad and left out. Uggg that classroom parent needs to get a life…and a payday candy bar:)

  5. Lisa permalink
    October 19, 2009 12:44 pm

    Also you should send real Halloween candy!! It’s freakin’ HALLOWEEN….who trick or treats for dried fruit or raisins? Just sayin…

    • October 19, 2009 1:34 pm

      Thanks Lisa. I opted to send in plates, cups and napkins, so as not to spark anymore controversy. 🙂

  6. October 19, 2009 5:06 pm

    I could *possibly* see this in an email about some kind of daily or weekly snack they were getting, but for a holiday like Halloween? It’s one flipping day. And the kids should be allowed to celebrate with candy. It reminds me of an episode of the Simpsons where the Flanders children accidentally eat a cookie or something and one of them says, “We were saving sugar for our wedding night!” My motto: let them eat cake. Just not too much of it. I mean, just be a responsible and involved parent, for the love of God. And I mean, moreso than typing up a preachy email for your kid’s class.

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