Homemade cookies – not suitable for kids?

Last week I signed up to do snack time at The Bear’s preschool. Just before Christmas, the preschool had an inspector examine the school. One of the things that needed to change – no more homemade snacks.

Now, I have no problem supplying the kids with fruit or veggies (which is allowed). But mandating that the school can’t feed the children homemade snacks seems a little ridiculous, not to mention anti-slow food.

I did a little research. Turns out preschools in Alberta fall under the same legislation as daycares and dayhomes. This legislation mandates that there must be no outside foods. The only time food can be handmade is within the confines of the school or centre.

One might think that Alberta Children Services is concerned about the health of the children. Is the legislation in place because store-bought food has less contaminants; is there less risk to children’s health when they eat pre-prepared foods; or is it less likely that store-bought food can be tampered with?

However… there are many cases of store-bought food suffering from contamination. Remember Maple Leaf’s listeria outbreak in 2008? And those with severe allergies must be on guard no matter what they eat – whether food is pre-prepared or homemade. And what about the long-term effects of consuming additives and preservatives? Finally, in the unlikely circumstance that someone wanted to harm children by tampering with food, it could be done with any variety of food.

I believe that the legislation is really about reducing the government’s liability. Who’s at fault if a child is harmed by ingesting something while in pre-school or daycare? If they have eaten something from a store, the manufacturer or seller is at fault. If they have eaten something homemade in a facility that is government inspected, the legal waters become muddy. It is in Alberta Children Services’ best interest to keep things simple by legislating the ‘no outside food’ rule.

This is one example of structural limitations to living slowly. Something as simple as home-baked cookies for preschoolers have been banned. Instead, the government is saying they would rather have children consume snacks encased in plastic packaging with slick marketing campaigns behind them. I know which snack I would rather The Bear be eating.

Snack time is approaching. Apple slices, anyone?

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3 Responses to “Homemade cookies – not suitable for kids?”


  1. 1 digital marketing forum for small business November 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm

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  2. 2 Rosemary January 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Well that is a bit shocking. I know what I would prefer my daughter eat!

    Do you think some of it has to do with things like no peanuts in schools? (Although a woman in front of me at Wal-mart yesterday said, “I wonder how everyone survived 20 years ago!” when buying something peanut free.)

    So can you tell me when they will say no homemade lunches are allowed either?! After all, kids trade parts of lunch all the time or share food. Good grief.

  3. 3 Michelle January 24, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Very well written, Mama Tortoise! I like the name!


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