Are Cupcakes Dangerous To Children’s Health?

By on June 22nd, 2009 . Filed under: Cupcakes for a cause, Kids, News .

apple cupcake

Cupcake are often times used as symbols.  Usually cupcakes symbolize something happy and delightful, but lately it has been invoked in a growing debate regarding school food policies.  There is no doubt that childhood obesity is a growing problem, but is school food to blame?  If it is, what is the necessary reform needed?

In the heated debate, school boards are considering banning some foods from the school entirely including cupcakes.  A board member asks, hopefully rhetorically:

“They can’t have cupcakes? … One birthday party a month?” she said. “…I think it’s better to have happy children. They learn better, it’s pleasant for all. Along with the healthy foods, the kids have to be happy.” – The Evil Cupcake

In another article, a worried pediatrician retorts:

In a typical classroom of 26 children, there are up to 26 days of birthday cupcakes to contend with. Then you add in celebrations for holidays, and many classes have a party every week. There are many healthy birthday options, and we can use them to celebrate our children’s birthdays without sacrificing their health. – NYT Letters

What do our dear ATC readers feel about this issue?  Should cupcakes be banned from schools?  Or is it throwing the baby out with the bath water?

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26 Responses to Are Cupcakes Dangerous To Children’s Health?

  1. Suzie Sheedy

    Banning cupcakes ~ that is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time. Our kids need to know that having treats is ok. We should be more concerned about what is being cut from our schools, and not how many cupcakes they are having!

  2. Keri Cossette

    Banning cupcakes is a horrible idea…You can make cupcakes healthy too (vegan, gluten free, sugar free) come one seriously so many other school foods are dangerous its ridiculous.

  3. Liz Jacob

    Banning cupcakes is completely silly. It doesn’t solve the problem of children having poor eating habits. Just like prohibition didn’t stop people from drinking alcohol. I think it would make more sense to make cafeteria food healthier, spend more time on educating about healthy food habits and more time on exercising, than banning something entirely.
    And just from personal experience, I bake (a lot… old habits die hard, I used to work as a pastry chef many moons ago) and my children are used to having cakes and cupcakes and all kinds of treats around the house. But they will gladly leave a tray full of cupcakes be, and chose an apple or yoghurt instead, if they already had a cupcake or a piece of cake. They enjoy it, but they don’t overindulge. Some of their friends, though, whose parents monitor strictly their “treat intake” go completely nuts at our house and eat until they are basically sick. Not something I want my children to do.

  4. Emily

    Cupcakes are a way of celebration just like champagne for getting married. It’s if you use them in moderation that it’s the problem. But neverless cupcakes should be allowed at birthday celebrations at school.

  5. Candace

    I’m a teacher. We are supposed to not allow parents to bring cupcakes. However, they have cake and cookies at lunch. They also sell candy and junk at PTA meetings and such. Because of these inconsistiencies we allow them to bring cupcakes. :)

  6. Janice

    These days kids just can’t be allowed to be kids anymore can they. Banning cupcakes, banning toys from kids meals. Lets just take away all the little things in life as soon as possible shall we?

  7. Lael

    I’m a SAHM who used to teach 3rd grade. I loved birthday parties and kids bringing in treats to share! Cupcakes were common treats, and I think it is fine for kids to bring them in. Kids need to learn healthy habits, and eating sweets in MODERATION is one of them. Why couldn’t there just be a compromise? Send in a baggie of baby carrots with the cupcakes- (or make carrot cake cupcakes!!) to have something healthy to go along with it! I firmly believe that withholding sweets completely will just make you pig out that much more when you have the opportunity. Develop some self control, and practice moderation :)

  8. Sue

    I agree with Lael, moderation is the key! It’s silly to ban cupcakes from school parties!

  9. Rikki

    As a teacher and a mom to four kids, I find it silly, especially considering the cuts in recess and the arts due to high stakes (resulting in high pressure) testing. If they were really worried about our kids health, there would be balance in our schools – not this ridiculousness.
    (I will step down from the soap box now…)

  10. Kandi

    I think that it is a stupid idea. Banning cupcakes from school is not going to make them healthier. Lame.

  11. Kara L.

    As a teacher of elementary kids (5th Grade), I have about 30 kids in my class. Of these 30 kids, maybe 10 will bring cupcakes to celebrate their birthday. Most kids don’t like to eat more than the two bite ones. When we have class parties (the 4 or 5 we have each year) I request that no one brings cupcakes because most kids won’t eat them anyways. The kids don’t mind and they don’t seem to miss them since they have them when it’s someone birthday. Cupcakes are one of the only “fun” things left at school.

  12. Lyns

    Spending time on banning cupcakes as opposed to enriching the academic agenga seems a waste of resources to me. Why not have a combination of Birthdays for the month and enjoy a fun filled day of cupcakes for everyone. Each child can bring an equally divisible amount. Last year I ended up putting eyeballs in apples, they were well received but not like a cupcake!!!!

  13. Mox Rogers

    I think cupcakes, in themselves, are better for children than most desserts. They’re just the right size for a portion and don’t give the kids too much sugar or calories like a giant bowl of ice cream or a slab of cake would. Granted, they’re not fresh fruit, but they’re fun! Banning cupcakes is crap.

  14. Charisse

    OOPS – originally posted in the incorrect place –

    NO WAY CUPCAKES SHOULD NOT BE BANNED!!!! They might should be put on restriction. I agree that we don’t always have to have cupcakes and cookies for every occasion…but I think banning cupcakes is taking it a little overboard!

  15. Mione

    Okay seriously? 26 kids in the class and a party every week? Someone has clearly not observed the trend of when babies are born… Not ALL the kids in the class will have a birthday during the school year. And quite frankly… the ones that do, if their birthday falls on a weekend or school holiday or something – they won’t celebrate their birthday IN CLASS anyway. When I was growing up, I think we maybe had one party a month if even that because not all of the kids in the class had parents that could afford to send something in.

  16. Vanessa

    how about making healthy cupcakes? that way you can have your cake, and eat it too!!

    (and trust me, there are plenty of ways to make healthy cupcakes.)

  17. aub

    Let’s see… they serve french fries, chocolate milk, chicken nuggets, pizza, white bread and mostly canned fruit and veggies at school cafeteria’s and they are worried about a kid getting 26 cupcakes in a year. Get rid of the chocolate milk, fried foods and white bread before you worry about the cupcakes. However, it is a lot easier for schools to ban something than make some changes in the food they serve. A little hypocritical don’t you think?

  18. Emily

    Banning cupcakes from kids would be like telling them they can’t have recess. I do think that school food should be healthier. This coming from a girl who graduated high school 2 years ago and has dropped 20 pounds since.
    If a kid is fat, blame the parents not the cake.

  19. CakeBunny

    I have been a staunch fighter for healthier food at school. With the cafeteria food being nearly void of nutrition and the office selling lollipops to kids without the parents’ permission and oh, the teachers giving colas away for prizes…I just lost it! My children were coming home with bags of candy just for doing what they were supposed to be doing. Then my son began going to kindergarten and they tried the candy reward system with him…big mistake. He was hyper and always getting in trouble. The teacher failed to tell me she had been giving him candy every day! I went to the school board and the superintendant made it against the rules for the SCHOOL to give out junk foods, but PARENTS could bring in a reasonable amount of “celebratory” cakes, cupcakes, candy etc. The entire school has noticed the difference in behaviour in the kids. So no, cupcakes should not be banned altogether, just monitored :o)

  20. fried blue

    I vote for healthier food at school and keeping birthday cupcakes. Seriously. How else should kids celebrate their birthdays? With cakes made of cabbages and celery sticks? Kids shouldn’t be punished on their birthdays! :-P

  21. k

    talk about placing the blame on the wrong people!

    if a kid is overweight, it is certainly not because at the very most, 30 days in a year, he was offered a damn cupcake.

    i’d love to see the gym programs, the health programs, and the lunch programs at the schools where cupcakes are on the chopping block- I know at my high school, ping pong and table hockey were considered to be suitable gym activities!

  22. Christina

    If children still had recess in the younger grades, PE daily in all grades, and a decent lunch, one cupcake wouldnt be an issue! We too have had our share of teacher giving loads of candy for rewards for doing your work.

  23. Ryan Donathan

    wow..that will be healthy :)

  24. Lisa

    my kids’ school already banned cupcakes–a per-classroom thing. So for birthdays they get cookies. I personally don’t care for cupcakes, but I think it’s a stupid idea to ban them. Sure they are a little messy, but it’s the idea of a cake in individual servings for a birthday party at school. If cupcakes will be banned, then what about the goodies they serve with the school lunches? I know my kids always looked forward to Thursdays because that’s when white cake was served.

  25. Rene

    How about banning Vending Machines from schools… Especially soda machines and people want to worry about cupcakes?

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