Should Schools Ban Homemade Treats?

Should schools ban homeade treats for the classroomIt’s a traditional part of growing up in the public school system. In elementary school, your parent will either buy or make a bunch of treats for the class on your birthday. I personally remember having blue Jell-o with crumbled up animal crackers and Swedish Fish in a cup (to replicate a beach, or to clear out the fridge). Other parents may bake huge batches of cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and the like. In a pinch, a trip to the donut store or bakery section will work out.

Effectively, if it’s your birthday, you were treating the class. If you were really lucky, your teacher would throw on a movie, or extend your playground time, or otherwise celebrate (and it was always nice when mom and dad came to class, before the days in which you’d be horrified if they did).

Schools in Easton, Massachusetts, wish to ban parents from bringing in these (admittedly unhealthy) treats, and restrict them to a list of healthier alternatives, such as fruit, veggies, and the like. It follows the goal of fighting childhood obesity and starting healthy eating habits early in life. If an average class has 25 students, and they all happen to have birthdays during the school year on a weekday (and every parent brought in food), that’s (at least) 25 more cupcakes, cookies, slices of cake, and more that children are having per year. Over a year, that’s not an insane amount of sugar, carbs, and the like.

One argument against the sweets, as discussed in the above CNN clip, is that it begins to associate celebration with sweets; “carrots should not be a punishment,” but many kids might view it as such if they’re not allowed sweet treats.

What’s your opinion on the ban? Do kids deserve something sugary in celebration, or should they begin equating good times with good food at an early age?