School Carnivals, Picnics and Parties, Oh My!

The school carnival is this week. I'm in charge of food this year, because I figured if I organized it, I'd be in the know. Yeah, not so fast. "We must have popcorn", I was told because the smell of the popcorn popping is "so carnival-like". Okay, I rented the machine and got the popcorn. Does artificial butter flavor contain any dairy? "No" says the popcorn company representative. Of course I have no way of knowing what else has been put in the rented machine and no idea how well it's been cleaned. Confidence level on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being totally confident?- a 2. I'll bring safe popcorn.

We're also serving water ice which is basically sugar, high fructose corn syrup and dyes. Our school has started distributing, via e-mail, ingredient lists of foods served to students at these special events. Interesting responses. Some parents who don't need to look at food labels on a regular basis are surprised about what's in some of these foods (ie: long chemical names, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) One mother of a diabetic son asked if carbohydrate and sugar content could be included in the lists going to parents.

I think our school needs to develop a form that captures all food concerns that families have. That information then goes out to all families so they can plan appropriately.

How do your schools handle this? Is it working?
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