Up For Debate: Banning School Bake Sales

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

In New York City, parents and others opposed to the culinary crackdown staged a “bake-in” at City Hall, protesting the city’s Education Department’s new guidelines that outlaw the in-school sale of homemade treats like cupcakes, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies while allowing kids to buy any of 27 packaged, processed snacks, including Doritos and Pop-Tarts.

“The absurdity is plain,” declared New York’s Daily News, adding that although the processed snacks were deemed acceptable by city bureaucrats because “they come in single-serving packages” and have no artificial sweeteners, their “ingredients include Red 4D, Blue 1 and Yellow 5 dyes, as well as disodium inosinte and disodium guanylate, high-fructose corn syrup, wheat starch, glycerin and TBHQ.” The Daily News also noted that some of the approved servings exceed regulators’ 200 calorie limit.

“An extra cupcake purchased at an occasional bake sale is not going to tip a kid into obesity, but the extra dough parents raise at such an event could be put to good use,” the Daily News argued.

Tell us what you think: Should the government be responsible for determining what foods kids can buy at school? In an epidemic of childhood obesity, should kids be encouraged to buy cupcakes?


[deleted account]

I see no problems with children being shown that everything is ok as long as you have it in moderation - surely this is the healthiest thing to be doing!

I think it is really sad that many traditions are being curbed for whatever reason, some schools have had to stop sports days or stop parents involvement because parents have tried to sue them over injuries. Maybe this is part of the reason they have banned bake sales because the food cannot be made in a hygienic kitchen (I mean restaurant type kitchen but can't think of the appropriate word) and so if anyone becomes sick with food poisoning they could be sued? Which I think is really sad as it takes away another valuable lesson for kids - the value of money (making it, selling, using it etc).

Jodi - posted on 07/06/2010




This is always an interesting debate, Meghan, because I personally think this is absolutely ridiculous. I am also involved in the canteens in both of my kids schools, and participate in this same debate with those running those canteens (in a positive way!!).

In Australia, our childcren don't receive school lunches. We have a canteen which provides lunch orders (which kids provide written on a paper bag with the money enclosed first thing in the morning), and then it sells snack food at recess and lunch time. Most kids take their lunches from home, so as parents, we usually organise lunches and snacks ourselves at home. I know that a lot order lunches on Fridays only, LOL (about 20% of the kids on that day).

Anyway, having said this, most canteens will comply with the Healthy School Canteens criteria. Apparently it is now a requirement for public schools, but private schools are allowed to deviate. There are very strict nutritional requirements they need to adhere to.

Realistically, you would hope that on the days children have a lunch from home that the parents are preparing healthy lunches, but I don't think that appears to be a reality. For instance, I always cut a wholegrain sandwich for my kids (with maybe ham and chees, or honey, or vegmite - we are not allowed PB because of nut allergies), I pack some fruit for their fruit breaks, and then they have a homemade cookie and perhaps some chees and crackers or something else. On lunch order day, it is a TREAT.

So bake sale days? Absolutely a treat. Our canteens are permitted, even when accredited as a Healthy School Canteen, one *red* day per month. That is one day where they can serve items not approved. So we have Sausage Sizzle day, Hot Dog day, Pizza day, and so on. At athletics carnivals, etc, we are permitted to sell more sweets and sugary cakes. Just not on a daily basis.

I don't see the big deal. After all, if a child's parents aren't feeding them properly at home, I guarantee, they are not sending them to school with a healthy lunch anyway.

If they REALLY want to tackle the obesity issue, educate children in the class room about healthy eating. My son had health classes in primary school from about Year 2, and he used to come home talking about healthy food. I was amazed how open he was to eating his healthy snacks after those classes. It was a really positive thing. Help empower the children, as well as educating the parents through the school newsletters, etc.

Isn't that always the way though? Punish a majority for the actions of a minority.....

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Tanya - posted on 07/06/2010




I can't believe they are banning bake sales. The local high school here sells biscuits form Hardees in the morning to raise money. Ha how funny. I am sure those sausage biscuit are very healthy and we have vending machines.

Oh just another example of how some law makers miss the point.

Charlene - posted on 07/06/2010




People are just getting trigger happy with banning things these days. It's ridiculous.

A bake sale, once every so often is not going to make a kid obese. But total access to things like doritos definitely will.

Rosie - posted on 07/06/2010




ridiculous!! not only are processed foods much worse for you, baking with my children is something that i LOVE to do. i loved to do it with my mother as well. showing children the ins and outs of making food for themselves, not only is better for them, but it also sets them up in a way where they are becoming self sufficient. gaarrggh! i want to pull my hair out sometimes with these things i hear! lol!

Meghan - posted on 07/06/2010




I personally used to LOVE bake sales! I don't think my mom did lol. We would get the notcie and then mom and I would bake the goodies together, then I would take .50 cents and get to buy some treats. PLUS, don't most bake sales occur to raise money for class field trips or helping to raise money to better the school (playgrounds, I think we did one to have a big cultural assbembly once).?? What's wronf with teaching kids some team work and school spirit?

Amy - posted on 07/06/2010




I would rather my child buying home-made snacks rather than processed snacks. Bake Sales are not the cause of childhood obesity, there have been bake sales in schools (and other places) for many many years. There's more research saying that processed foods are also a large cause of it.

I would LOVE to bake some goodies for my kids to bring to a bake sale! I would also love to explore options of making some treats more healthy (Like the recipes in Jerry Signfields wife's cook book).

Also, they aren't doing bake sales every day are They? When I was younger we didn't have more than once a month if even that!

Lyndsay - posted on 07/06/2010




What? That is ridiculous. Schools have been having bake sales for decades, and obesity has only became an issue since the widespread explosion of fast food companies and snack companies (like Doritos and Pop Tarts). I really do not see how forcing children to buy these snacks instead of homemade treats (which are probably much healthier) is going to help in the battle against the bulge.

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