Birthday cranks

To battle childhood obesity, a Massachusetts elementary school has told parents not to bring cupcakes on their child’s birthday. Instead, the birthday boy or girl will get a cover for the back of the student’s chair, a sash, a special pencil and a sticker with the school’s mascot, the Happy Dragon. Preschool and kindergarten students will get to wear a birthday crown. Gosh, isn’t it fun to be a kid?

About Joanne


  1. At the microlevel, government agents claim to be battling obesity. At the macrolevel, government wants to make us fat and complacent.

  2. Hunter McDaniel says:

    Seems not that long ago that anorexia was the big concern.

  3. I think the article about the government is rather humerous, sounds like something from the Onion.

    At my child’s school, they don’t want cupcakes because they’re messy, not because their fattening. I do believe though that too often schools use candy as a reward, which teaches our kids the wrong idea – as someone battling her weight I know that rewarding myself with food is very easy for me to do.

    Kids really don’t care what they get, as long as they get recognition.

  4. I agree, Jill. This year, our principal asked the teachers not to have end of year class parties filled with junk food. Instead, she encouraged fruit, bagels, etc. We’ve had an epidemic of candy-doling teachers and our principal’s request for healthy foods got a lot of parental support.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Fruit and Bagels? Sugar and carbohydrates? Sheeesh!!!
    Might as well toss in some Ketchup so as to give the little nippers a vegetable.
    And perhaps point out that dietary balance is not necessarily in every meal.

  6. Big..soft…chocolate…cupcakes. ummmmmm 🙂

  7. Does this mean I can’t give extra credit for cupcakes?

  8. Just John says:

    Let’s compromise: carrot-cupcakes with a delicious ketchup center! Mmmmm…

  9. Did you want fries with that?

  10. mike from oregon says:

    You guys are spoofing … aren’t ya? Gee, I love this site – I just wanna cry though, that common sense has left and apparently isn’t going to come back.

  11. Walter E. Wallis says:

    …but it’s common sense with a heart.

  12. As a mother with kids in school, I can testify that the sugary treats are WAY overdone on some occasions. In our community no occasion is considered well-celebrated without an avalanche of sugar. It is truly annoying to those of us who are trying to teach their kids to eat dessert in moderation and only in combination with healthy food.

    But would I support a ban on sweets? No way. If I have a problem with other parents giving out too many sweets, I have many options. I can set a healthy example by providing nutritious food or harmless trinkets instead of food. I can teach my child the principle she needs to learn anyway, which is that in a world of endless desserts she does have a choice of food or can even choose to abstain. And I can (God forbid!) actually talk to the other parents if the problem becomes overwhelming. It’s not the job of the school to run interference between me and the other parents.

  13. Hey, haven’t lived until you have had to spend the last half of a day with twenty something sugared up ten year olds. there’s a nightmare. Oh well, that’s why they pay us the big bucks.

  14. Sugar still reigns at our district, though they introduced no more homemade goodies. They sent home a list of stores where we could buy cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. The other option was buying prepackaged goodies. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind that, as prepackaged and many bakery items have so many preservatives.

    I don’t have any cupcakes for extra credit; I did make chocolate chip cookies today. Would a few of those do? 😉

  15. Rita C. says:

    The rationale behind pre-packaged stuff is to avoid communicable diseases such as hepatitis. Store-bought is also much more tightly controlled wrt allergens such as peanuts.

  16. I used to send strawberries and green grapes for my daughter’s Spring birthday. The kids always loved them. Some of them acted like they never got fresh fruit.

  17. This sounds like maybe a way to take some pressure off moms. (Never heard a male co-worker worry about baked goods for the kids school.)

  18. JimInNOVA says:

    j.c. – That’s because if your male coworkers are anything like my father they went to the store, bought a couple dozen of whatever looked good, and were done with it. Of course, my mother usually did it that way too. They may have been a little more expensive than homemade, but they tasted better and took less time.