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Childrearing

Banning Birthday Cupcakes In Schools Isn’t Fascist, It’s A Great Idea

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Banning Birthday Cupcakes In Schools Isn t Fascist  It s A Great Idea cupcake ban 280x187 jpgIf you found out that your child’s school was banning birthday cupcakes forever, would you be one of the many parents who protests in outrage? Would you cry “fascism?” A Seattle school recently banned birthday party treats, encouraging parents to bring stickers and pencils instead. I, for one, am on board with this change and hope all schools soon adopt the practice.

I’m not a total jerk, I promise. I do have a child with food allergies, and I am also a health nut. I know that I can’t force my crazy health beliefs on the general population, but if anyone is asking, I think it is a great idea to serve kids less crap in general. My two cents.

Then there is the allergy factor. Today, food allergies are on the rise, increasing 18% among children under the age of 18 from 1997 to 2007, according to the CDC. Children with food allergies quickly fall down a slippery slope and are likely to have related conditions, including other allergies and asthma.

This describes my oldest son to a T. He had very severe bleeding eczema as a baby, which we have now gotten under control through a somewhat temporary no sugar, gluten, or dairy diet. Yes, he also has asthma and related seasonal allergies. If we don’t keep a close eye on what he eats, he can quickly get very sick and will be uncomfortable all year long.

According to Today.com, many Seattle parents support the Edmonds School District ban on birthday treats—while other media sources have poked fun at the cupcake restriction, calling it “fascist.” I agree with the parents on board with this ban, because why would you want to make class birthday cupcakes when you don’t have to?

Yet many Edmonds parents applaud the new rule — because it’s healthier for kids, and because it lets parents avoid the stress of being expected to provide dessert for the whole class.

Erin Ornes, an Edmonds parent of two boys, remembers when her oldest, now 11, was in first grade and she couldn’t afford a birthday party: The classroom celebration was very important to her son.

She understands that childhood obesity is a major problem. But she worries that encouraging parents to substitute crafty birthday alternatives for cupcakes will only fuel the social media “mommy wars.”

Oooh, the mommy wars. Glad you brought that up, Mrs. Ornes. I do see how some moms may feel the Pinterest pressure to bring the most elaborate cupcake alternative to a class birthday celebration. But this same attitude can apply to the actual cupcake making. Pinterest-crazy moms are going to be Pinterest-crazy moms, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

Ornes adds, “Low-income families and single moms that really don’t have time to think or deal with this will have the hardest time.” I respectfully disagree, with evidence from low-income single moms in my family. While it may cost just a few bucks to purchase cupcake mix and make treats at home, you can go to the dollar store and buy inexpensive pencils or stickers for even less.

As an allergy parent and health nut parent, I greatly appreciate this cupcake ban. Good news for parents like me: Similar cupcake bans are sweeping the nation in Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Michigan.

(Image: RONORMANJR/Shutterstock)

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