Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Birthday Cupcakes at school!

FROM CNN: Childhood obesity is reaching alarmingly high rates. One elementary school principal is taking matters into her own hands and imposing a sugar-free zone.


When it comes to preventing obesity, Browns Mill Elementary Principal Yvonne Sanders-Butler runs a tight ship. For the past decade she's declared the school a sugar-free zone, banning soda machines and even birthday cupcakes. "Childhood obesity- it's our tsunami, it's our Katrina, it's wall street today. If we're really thinking about the best interests about the young people today then we will take a stand," she said. Promoting a healthy diet isn't her only focus; students and staff get an hour of physical activity every day. Sanders-Butler says the approach is making a difference in the classroom.

Discipline complaints from teachers are down and reading test scores are up. Don't you want to know that the children we're educating today will truly be healthy enough to lead for tomorrow? Former students like Simone Davis are grateful for the sugar-free policy. "I was one of the heavier students in elementary school so I really lost a lot of weight and just became healthier overall," she said. -An important lesson with long-lasting results.

We do tend to have a lot of birthday treats at school. I try to bring fruit and crackers instead of cupcakes/cookies/Little Debbie products when I do snack day. However, I think it's okay to have a treat for birthdays. Maybe there are just so many kids at this school being mentioned that there would be too many cupcake days. I don't know. I do like the idea of schools promoting healthy eating habits!!

Do you think it's okay for kids to bring cupcakes on their birthday?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

8 comments:

Kristin said...

I think maybe instead of cupcakes they could bring a healthier cookie. Like Oatmeal Rasin, which is what I did for my sons birthday treat this year. The kids liked them just as well as they would a cupcake.

Maria said...

if the cupcakes didn't have a pound of frosting, I wouldn't have as much of a problem. I, however, send fruit, crackers and cheese for parties, and the teacher in my son's current room makes the list for party days (Valentine's, etc) and writes down healthier options instead of cake, cookies, etc. It's refreshing, and I am happy to bring a healthy snack!

Tim said...

Even worse is soda because it's so available at schools. A can of coke has around 8 tea spoons of sugar. A cupcake on a special occaision now and again isn't going to make anyone obese. But a soda or two a day, well, that's a different story. I think this teacher is doing a good thing by banning soda machines, but come on a cupcake for a kid's birthday?

Coach Dave said...

We probably should institute this at work too, we have fooddays like they're going out of style. One person brought veggies, they took them home too..

Anonymous said...

I so agree with banning the cupcakes because the kids will get a cake at home to celebrate and the problem is that every kid will have a birthday and before you know it, there are 12 birthdays in a month and your kid has eaten a lot bad dessert they normally would not have gotten. Totally should try to bring in something homemade, but I think a lot of families go for buying the quick easy thing, and that is just not the healthy way to go.

Jennifer said...

Anon,
Due to health department regulations (in IL) you can't bring homemade treats. The treats must be store-bought. It is still possible to bring in healthy treats, though, like the baked snack crackers and cheese, string cheese, fruit, or slightly less healthy, but an okay occasional treat, rice crispy treats or fruit snacks.

Anonymous said...

love the Idea my childrens school has snack time and as a parent we have to send in a healthy snack once or twice a month but they include birthday treats in with this and that is great but I know by what my daughter tells me what she eats that it is not healthy all the time. Just wondering if we should inform parents more of what is healthy snacks that can be sent to school for 20 students

ryansmom said...

I support the cupcake ban for a much different reason. My son is severely allergic to many common foods, including milk, eggs, and nuts which are ever present in many store bought bakery items. My son will go to Kindergarten next year and I am very nervous to send him to school for fear that he will be living in a minefield of unsafe foods every single day at lunch. These situations can be potentially life threatening for my child and he travels with an Epi-pen everywhere he goes. Add to that the fact that with 20+ children per class, there are sure going to be a lot of birthdays to celebrate. This takes on a whole new meaning for me, considering I would have to make...from scratch... a safe cupcake to send to school with my son for each kids birthday, just so he can feel like he is not left out.
Alternatives such as fruit, crackers and other such healthy options are not only a great way to encourage healthier eating, but also much easier for a mom like me who usually has to jump through ten million hoops just so my kid can fit in at a birthday party. So for those of you parents out there that get their undies in a bunch because of a cupcake ban, stop and think for a second about how much worse it could be. My son has attended numerous birthday parties in his 4 short years of life and not once has he ever been able to eat the birthday cake or ice cream that is being served. Think about that for a minute folks....and perhaps a cupcake ban at school will not sound so bad after all.

 
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