Skip Nav
Why You Should Think Twice Before Judging "Big Kids" Trick-or-Treating
What Every Parent Needs to Know About Those Teal Pumpkins
40 Adorable Halloween Costumes For Baby-Wearing Parents

Birthday Cake Banned by School District

Kids will no longer have their cake and eat it too, at least not at school in a Chicago suburb. Due to rising rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity, the Arlington Heights school district's wellness committee voted to ban sweet treats in their classrooms when celebrating birthdays and other special occasions. They are hoping to take the emphasize off food and honor the child's special day by allowing them to be line leader or showcased on the bulletin board. The Superintendent hopes that this leads to a cultural change for families.

Do you agree with the ban or feel it's the parents' place to regulate their child's sugar intake?

amh amh 9 years
Though I'm not familiar with the school district, I'd say that they'd do a better job of targeting obesity and type 2 diabetes by assessing their school breakfast and lunch menus. The non food items served are appalling. Seriously, most of the "food" served has no actual nutritional value. My daughter's school definitely passed out way too many sugary treats as rewards. That's an issue that I'll be addressing next year. Several schools in our district banned homemade goodies. THAT blew me away. I can make healthier items for far less than I can purchase them.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
We're not allowed birthday parties anyway, but I wouldn't have a problem with this. Personally, I love that there's no parties, no pressure. "Do you agree with the ban or feel it's the parents' place to regulate their child's sugar intake?" But allowing the cakes isn't really leaving it up to the parents to regulate their child's sugar intake. If another parent brings in a cake, how is it allowing me to regulate my child's sugar intake when I don't even know it's there? Actually the ban itself leaves it in my hands, since it leaves me more in control
mother2 mother2 9 years
I think it's really sad that today some kids can't even celebrate their birthdays at school, let alone the ban on sweets. I was a teacher back in the 90s and none of this was an issue. And speaking of allergies, when did almost every kid in class start having allergies? My nephew's school has a "peanut-free" table in the cafeteria. Really?!?! It's a wonder we all survived our childhoods since we didn't have all of these precautions back then. Sometimes I wonder...
mrtruman mrtruman 9 years
I'm a teacher, and my school has had a ban on ALL food besides lunch in the cafeteria for several years. This means that kids cannot even bring in fruit to celebrate a birthday!! They claim it is because so many kids have allergies, but this policy is a MAJOR buzz kill!!
Rozenaut Rozenaut 9 years
I'm generally against the schools trying to raise our children. I know they have good intentions, and I don't really see a problem with them providing advice to our kids, but to actually make rules regarding what THEY think is best is too much.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
a dumb idea. i have a daughter that has allergies that prevent her from even having the treats brought by classmates and i still think this goes too far. you aren't going to change peoples eating habits by telling them "you can't do it here". i also think that a bulletin board dedicated to the birthday person is too much. you don't get your name in lights just because you were born on this day. you just have your 5 minutes of cake/song and then we move on.
honey693 honey693 9 years
25-35 kids * 1 to 2 cupcakes each birthday = a lot of sugar I student taught in teh Chicago suburbs and we didn't have a sugar ban (although there was on on colored drinks b/c they always spilled on the carpet) the PTA at my school decided to do healthier snacks for parties and birthdays. We had fruit trays, veggie trays, pretzels, small homemade muffins, etc for the kids. And surprise, they all loved it! We did have teh occasioanl birthday cookies or cupcakes, but a lot of the kids didn't even eat them.
HipMom HipMom 9 years
I think it's a good idea. Of course it's up to parents to decided what to feed their kids, and at home you can do whatever you want - but let's look at it from another viewpoint: it's hard to feed your child healthy food when other parents bring junk food to school for birthdays. Of course outlawing cake doesn't mean they will eat better - if they are allowed to bring soda and hot dogs instead it's just as bad (or actually worse) than having a cupcake!
anniekim anniekim 9 years
No sticky sweets brought to school for others is not unreasonable. And the idea of placing an emphasis on nonfood celebration is also good. But let's face it, being made line leader is just not much of a celebration. If healthy food is allowed that not only stops the sugar, but teaches kids to enjoy healthy alternatives. The woman speaking in the clip is basically sending out a message that says fatty, sugary foods are for celebrations--no other food presented or mentioned as a possiblity. Isn't the point to educate our kids in proper diet? not a sugar or nothing diet.
lms lms 9 years
I don't really have a problem with them banning it. I volunteer at my daughter's school. Last year I sold ice cream in the cafeteria once a month. There were a few kids that would try to forgo their lunches and eat only ice cream. They were only allowed one after they had their real lunch. Some kids used to get their friends to buy it for them and it was usually the overweight children. I also am a room mom and I hosted a party last week. The largest child in the class came back for seconds(as did other kids but a larger portion) and she kept getting the juices even though we had water bottles available. I know one mom whose daughter is overweight and when I told her I saw her daughter at ice cream she said, "you didn't eat any of it right?" I told her that she didn't but we spoke anyway. I believe that some parents are trying to control their kids diets and most of the kids are going to eat it at school if it is available. I do understand that some parents encourage their kids eating habits and the school can't do anything about them. But for the ones that are making a conscious effort the get their kids healthier the constant sweets don't help.
spinningjennie spinningjennie 9 years
There were thirty children in my son's preschool this year. Even though they were split among two distinct groups, they shared special days. And if the child had a birthday that fell during the summer, they moved it to the school year. There was a lot of sugar flying -- every week! Messy, sugary treats were discouraged, but that's usually exactly what was brought in, anyhow. As the parent of a pretty hyperactive child (and with a family history of diabetes), I really don't want him eating super-sweets as a habit like that.
cagey333 cagey333 9 years
This is a hot topic for me. My husband is a diabetic. He is skinny, fit, athletic, healthy eater who was simply dealt a crappy set of genetics. As such, I want to teach my kids NOW how to eat healthy in case they, too, are faced with diabetes later on. My son's pre-school is very reasonable about treats - for parties there is a sign-up to limit the number of cookies. Fine with me. I am not anti-sugar, but prefer it in moderation. I would totally approve of my son's school banning birthday cake and treats. Why do treats always have to do with FOOD? Couldn't kids take in party favors or something?
loveleighdancer loveleighdancer 9 years
That's the town right next to me and I actually applied for a job in that school district... If they are banning sweet treats for birthdays, I still think parents should be allowed to send something to celebrate their child's birthday, like the comment mentioned above. Children love to bring in food and goodies for their classmates and they should still be able to do that, even if it is healthier alternatives.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
Sounds like more of an attention getting ploy than a real plan for dietary change. How often can cake or cupcakes really be available in each class? Not more than a dozen times over the course of a year, at a guess. At the same time it is difficult for parents to monitor their children's sugar intake in school when sweets are offered. I'm assuming the school would allow an alternate birthday food to be offered--fruit salad or pizza strips or something of that nature. That's pretty reasonable. My daughter's preschool doesn't ban cupcakes/sweets for birthdays, but they do discourage it--both in speech and in writing. This is both a dietary concern and a wish to avoid cleaning up frosting mess. For my daughter's 4th bday I sent in party napkins and pizza strips. They were a huge hit.
South Carolina Teacher Asks Fifth Graders to Justify KKK
Mom Hiding in Her House From Bus Stop Moms
What School Is Like For Kids
Mom Celebrates Son With Autism Using a Hand Dryer
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds