The Intense Pressure Of Taking The Perfect Pre-School Birthday Treat

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Birthday CupcakesSo, new school food regulations went into place this year. I’m not sure if it was a state decision or a nation-wide effort to cut down on homemade treats that might not have been made according to health codes. From September through January, I hadn’t given much thought to those handouts that I stuffed in a file months ago. The basic gist was that all food brought in to the kids had to be pre-packaged by a manufacturer or business. No more bunches of grapes that could’ve been stored in someone’s crisper next to raw meat. No more homemade cupcakes that might have picked up bacteria in a less-than-commercial kitchen. Yay for the makers of snack packs, I thought. Then, I realized that I needed to come up with a pre-packaged, easy to eat birthday treat.

Wanna know what my first thought was? Well shit.

No cupcakes, cake pops or fruit and yogurt parfaits. No adorable cookies that my daughter decorated herself. With every portion needing individual packaging, I’m stuck somewhere between a severely pissed off bakery and Little Debbies. It’s not a comfortable position.

I know that it shouldn’t matter so much what my daughter takes in for her birthday treat. A decade from now, she’s not going to remember whether all her friends liked their pudding cups or if her teacher was annoyed with a messy snack. But as I’ve admitted before, I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to birthdays. It’s the one day of the year that everything revolved around my little one. And it’s her day to bring in something special to share with her friends. What on earth that special treat is, I’m just not sure.

I would love to be an immensely creative, healthy mom who could come up with a delicious snack that the whole class would love. But I honestly have no idea what would accomplish that mission!

Sliced fruit and yummy dipping sauce? Too McDonalds.

Designer cupcakes from a local bakery? My husband might kill me given the serious cash I plopped down for our daughter’s birthday cake this weekend.

Little Debbie? I just can’t bring myself…

Snack packs? It’s what I’ve done for every snack day since the beginning of the year. Not exactly a special day for my little girl.

Individual ice cream cups? I think her teacher might bar me from ever bringing a snack again. Think of the mess of a dozen pre-schoolers with ice cream!

Birthday treats have so much pressure. How to keep the school, the teacher and the kids all happy at once? I have no idea.

Honestly, the point of this post is kind of to ask for help. Any creative ideas would be appreciated. As is often the case, it’s possible that I’m making a mountain out of molehill. But I can’t deny that I feel seriously stressed about finding the perfect birthday treat for 12 pre-schoolers who won’t remember what they ate once nap time rolls around. At least it’s only once a year, right?