School District Bans Birthday Cakes

It’s apparently part of a federal wellness policy to monitor students’ nutrition. So, no more birthday cakes at school on students’ birthdays. Instead, they can enjoy a card from a fellow student. Or a pencil. According to KIRO-TV in Seattle:

The Edmonds School District has voted to ban sweet treats for student birthdays. 

The move is part of an 18-month wellness and nutrition study that started after a new federal wellness policy took effect requiring superintendents nationwide to monitor nutritional standards for students.

The district has gotten three written complaints so far.

Instead of a cupcake, students will now get a pencil or handmade card from classmates.

Two Edmonds schools decided to start this ban last year on their own.

Neighboring districts, including Seattle, don’t have a ban in place and are not planning to discuss it.

Yes, a pencil. (I wonder how many calories are in a pencil.)

Here’s more from Seattle’s Fox affiliate:

Inspired by a federal wellness policy, the district says decreasing kids’ sugar intake is a healthy step.

“In a week, say you have three kids who have birthdays — you do see a change of behavior in the classroom,” Edmonds School District spokeswoman DJ Jakala said.

The district says it is about celebrating the kids, not the sweets.

With no more cupcakes, schools can choose to hand out gifts such as pencils, origami or even more recess time.

“Instead of spending the time eating the cupcake, let the kids go out to the field for 10 to 15 minutes,” Jakala said.

The ban is something they have mulled over for nearly two years. The district says several schools have already tested it out, with few complaints from parents.

“Because there are so many birthdays throughout the year and they are getting treats throughout the year, I am fine with it. I don’t think it’s a big deal,” parent Lea Agol said.

“That’s fine, that is fine. They can bring something else,” parent Chino Shaver said.

“If the child chooses, the class will sing to them. Like I said, there are instances of personalized cards and they can be first in line,” Jakala said.

But some parents say the district should just loosen up and not ruin a tradition.

“It’s not necessarily the district’s job to control that, to take away from everybody, it’s overreaching,” parent Marcus Shelton said.

The district says the ban is just one small component of a big effort to promote more exercise and wellness.

Although birthday sweets are off the table, kids will get to enjoy treats in their classrooms at cultural and other classroom celebrations three times every school year, the district said.

I don’t understand why they can’t just combine everyone’s birthdays every month. That way, they’re not eating cake three times a week.

I don’t remember what we did on birthdays in elementary school. I don’t remember having cake except on very special occasions. We definitely had cake at home on our birthdays, but not at school. Well, some kids’ parents did bring cake or cupcakes or cookies for their kids’ birthday, but that wasn’t every time. It was really up to the parents.

Of course, back then, you were allowed to bring homemade food to school. Nowadays, it’s not allowed. And the parents don’t really have a say. It’s all up to the school as to whether desserts are allowed on birthdays.

I’m sure it’s frustrating to many of these parents who feel like these schools are taking over their role as parent. At the same time, I know how convenient it must be to be able to just drop your kids off at a “free” school. But when parents do that, they’re setting themselves up to be constantly subjected to all the nonsense rules, regulations and nannying that come with it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.