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Cupcake Ban: Schools Crack Down on Sweets

August 05, 2014 / TODAY

Cupcake Ban: Schools Crack Down on Sweets
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TEASER Ask most any kid: Birthdays are synonymous with cupcakes. But families in Edmonds School District, a suburb of Seattle, have been told they can no longer bring birthday treats to school. Instead, parents are encouraged to distribute appropriate alternatives, like stickers and pencils.
TITLE Cupcake Ban: Schools Crack Down on Sweets
TWEETTEXT Cupcake Ban: Schools Crack Down on Sweets: http://bit.ly/1lwr7eC
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By Jacoba Urist, TODAY contributor

Ask most any kid: Birthdays are synonymous with cupcakes. But families in Edmonds School District, a suburb of Seattle, have been told they can no longer bring birthday treats to school. Instead, parents are encouraged to distribute appropriate alternatives, like stickers and pencils.

That's right, pencils.

RELATED: Help your child stay healthy and fit with our Health & Wellness growth charts.

To be expected, some are poking fun at the cupcake ban and blaming first lady Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiatives for messing with a harmless tradition. 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 Orens, 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.”

“It’s bad enough to see who made the best cupcakes or who just stopped by the grocery store,” says Orens. “But now to see who makes the best non-food celebration? Low-income families and single moms that really don’t have time to think or deal with this will have the hardest time.”

Edmonds is just the latest district to ban sugary sweets in an effort to fight obesity. Similar bans are in effect at some schools in Kalamazoo, Michigan; Boulder, Colorado; Louisville, Kentucky; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Bans on homemade treats bring peace of mind to parents of children with allergies. Melissa Dobrich, who has a daughter who is severely allergic to peanuts and will start school in several years, says she wasn’t previously aware of all the precautions a parent must take when a child is highly sensitive to an allergen. “I don’t want to spoil everyone’s fun,” says Dobrich. “I just want a safe place for my daughter to learn.”

Click here to read more of this article from our friends at Today.com.

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