No more cupcake parties: School district bans birthday treats

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EDMONDS — The longtime tradition of a parent bringing juice and sweets to the classroom to celebrate a young one’s birthday has been banned in one local school district, with the cupcakes shelved in lieu of  non-edible treats.

The Edmond’s School District’s Wellness Committee recently banned edible treats in classroom parities, with birthdays and other parties slated to be celebrated with “non-food treats and favors to students.”

Instead, food can only be served at three classroom celebrations per year, and must relate to either seasonal, cultural or curriculum oriented activities.

Also, due to the prevalence of students with severe food allergies, foods with nuts or tree nuts are strongly discouraged.

Parties after school hours are not regulated by the new rules.

According to the Everett Herald, the decision was based on nutritional factors and economics. First, it’s not healthy for a “cupcake party” to be thrown for every student on their birthday, DJ Jakala, the spokeswoman for the Edmonds School District, told the Herald.

“We’re not just talking about one cupcake a year, we’re talking about 25 cupcakes a year,” she told the Herald. She encouraged parents to bring small trinkets, such as erasers origami favors, instead.

Also, not all families can afford to send treats to school for a birthday celebration, leading those students without the means to feel slightly left out.


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  • Anon

    I know not every kid brought in sugar treats for birthdays when my kids were in elementary school, the district makes it sound like every child in class has a birthday from September-June. What about the summer birthdays? Those kids never brought in treats. I realize its about healthy food choices but the federal guidelines of breakfast foods allowed contained just as much sugar for some of their food choices. .

  • kiki

    I believe this is really stupid. Growing up we got little parties for birthdays and we are fine. Yes let's all be healthy but kids should have some fun at school to. Especially if they have to go to school on their birthday. I want to be able to send my kids with fun things for their classrooms and want them to celebrate with the kids and teacher they hang out with all year long. It's 25 cupcakes for around 201 days and if you count all year long that would be 365. But kids deserve to celebrate their birthday at home and/or at school. I believe that they work for it. I mean they go to school that keeps them from 7-2, 8-2 or 9-3 but it is like a job for kids.

  • Joe Camel

    If I was concerned for my child eating to much junk food loaded with sugar and fats, then perhaps we can have a small baking class where children could learn how to prepare and make a whole grain and fruit power bar that will taste sweet with the honey used and be full of whole grain and nuts or nut free. Anything but taking away celebrations let the kids prepare treats, even simpler things like fruit salads and such, where accidental burns would not take place from oven use. We shouldn't bar foods but support better choices which would naturally support those parents already maintaining a healthier life style for their children and would encourage others to taste and see for themselves.

  • jerry

    I find this unbelievable considering I have seen the trash they serve my kid for lunch. It is stuff that is barely edible. My daughter was only eating at school on average once a week because the food she said was "icky" and they are charging $2.50 a pop for them this is just stupid.

  • Susan

    We have a LOT of food allergies in my school. That being said, I bring stuff all year long- my kids' birthdays, the teacher's birthdays, spring, etc., not just cupcakes, but often edibles. A LOT of the kids in my school are low-income or have families that honestly, just don't care about their kids. They LOVE that I bring stuff in when their parents don't because then they get at least a little treat on some days. And that allergy thing? I'm one of those crazy parents who either goes out and buys a safe treat for the allergy- ridden kid or brings an alternative. Every time. This would break our students' hearts. I'd be pretty sad too. Seriously??? Origami favors?? Who does that? Yep- break out the crappy dollar store toys that will choke their younger siblings or have tiny pieces that will be lost in the first ten minutes. Perfect substitute. Edibles are perfect because they are a nice treat but are also GONE pretty quickly!

  • froggygirl

    Clearly the "health nuts" rule the world. Gee, you can't even be a kid these days and enjoy cupcakes and celebrate with your friends at school. When I was a kid I always looked forward to birthdays and cupcakes at school. I know many of my friends who are now moms take cupcakes to school for their kids. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually more districts pick up this stupid policy though. Our world is truly messed up. For crying out loud allow kids to have treats sometimes and don't expect them to just live on veggies and water.

  • NewEra

    I think the school district has it right. There are many kids now with dietary restrictions due to obesity, diabetes, autism spectrum, ADHD, nut allergies, milk allergies etc. By law, schools often have no choicer but to accommodate these needs under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Every time someone brings in cupcakes, teachers have to ask defensive parents annoying questions about ingredients, chase down other parents for substitute snacks and are then left alone with a full class to "celebrate" on edge with epipens in their back pockets and having to sanitize the class with wipes afterwards. How is that fair for teachers? Just because certain medical conditions weren't prevalent 20 years ago, doesn't mean they are not real today. It is a new era with new medical conditions calling for new policies. This policy makes perfect sense to me. Lunch in the lunch room where janitors can clean up. Food out of the class room so teachers can actually teach instead of being the snack police, worrying about anaphylaxis and cheering up disappointed kids who cannot participate.

  • ghostrider169

    Here we go again. Denying everyone because one or two students might be have an allergy. This is stupid logic. And the thought that we shouldn't do it because a few of the students might not be able to afford to do this for their birthdays is insane also. My children couldn't afford to do every thing that the wealthier families could do but that was life. They didn't expect others to avoid fun just to keep from offending them. They were taught to appreciate what they did have and be happy for others who had more. That is life…

  • SamFW

    Effective immediately there will be no cakes, cookies, or donuts at any federal office building including the White House. This means no birthday, birth, showers, farewell or retirement celebrations.

    Further the department of agriculture will monitor all agriculture department employees to insure they are eating only meals in line with agriculture department nutritional guidelines.

    The White House pastry chef will be terminated and replaced with a contract chef only for State Dinners with member nations of the G20.