For most kids, a birthday celebration at school equals “Yay! Cupcakes!”. But as more schools crack down on unhealthy eating habits, birthday treats are being replaced by stickers, pencils or other non-edible crafts. The cupcake ban in schools has been both welcomed and criticized by parents with some happy to have sweets off the menu entirely.
Today reports about the mixed reaction from parents after more schools make the move to ban homemade treats at school. Edmonds school district in Seattle is the latest school to say no to classroom cupcakes and mom Erin Ornes worries about how busy parents will take to the new regulations. Ornes says, “It’s bad enough to see who made the best cupcakes or who just stopped by the grocery store. But now to see who makes the best non-food celebration? Low-income families and single moms that really don’t have time to think or deal with this will have the hardest time.”
But other parents are relieved to see sugary snacks eliminated from their child’s classroom. Another Edmonds parent Deandra MacMillan is happy that her 12 year old son who struggles with a weight problem will no longer partake in decadent desserts at school. She says, “More than once my kid has come home after eating two birthday treats a day. It’s frustrating to try to retain some control and realize it’s a losing battle.”
Parents of kids who have allergies are breathing a sigh of relief that their child has less of a chance of being accidentally exposed to allergens. Mom Melissa Dobrich, who has a daughter with a severe peanut allergy in the school district, explains how she feels safer with the ban on homemade snacks in place. She says, “I don’t want to spoil everyone’s fun. I just want a safe place for my daughter to learn.”
Some may say that a once-in-a-while treat is not going to hurt, but the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University Marlene Schwartz says schools must be consistent with the message they are sending to kids about nutrition. Schwartz explains, “It’s not fair to say to the food service providers that they are not allowed to sell candy and soda but then say it’s perfectly fine for 30 parents to bring in cupcakes for the whole class 30 times a year.”
What do you think of the ban on sugary snacks at school?
Do you think it’s okay for kids to celebrate birthdays at school with cupcakes or are you happy to see these kinds of regulations put in place?