In the contemporary United States, sugary foods touch nerves and spark debate in many communities—particularly when they are provided to children in institutional contexts. Drawing on ethnographic research in an Atlanta, GA charter school, this article examines parent perspectives on the food choices that should be provided to children and the (un)desirability of vending machines at school. Parents' concerns about packaged honey buns and other contested foods express broader concerns about children's social and emotional development, their physical and psychological fitness for life in a market-saturated society, and nagging uncertainty about how parents and other adults may best nurture these.

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