Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ban the Cupcakes!

Cupcakes have become Public Enemy #1.

Every news outlet is talking about it. School districts all over the country are asking parents to not bring cupcakes or other sugary sweets to school for their child's birthday or other class parties. My own district took this on several years ago. They even sponsored a poster contest to get everyone on board.

As a parent my first thought was:
"Thank goodness I don't have to worry about making/buying cupcakes for 35 kids!"

My second thought was:
"What do you mean I can't bring a treat for my sweet baby girl on her birthday?!"

I love to bake. I made cupcakes for my daughter's preschool class but by the time I got them to school my Frozen themed cupcakes looked like Olaf spent too much time out in the sun. I just reminded my daughter that some people are worth melting for!

My takeaway lesson was no more cupcakes from me, I will be looking for an alternative this year, and I am not so heartbroken schools are asking parents to lay off the birthday treats!

As a teacher I have never been against cupcakes or other treats for birthdays. If a parent wants to celebrate their child in the classroom then I have no problem with it. I only ask that we celebrate at the end of the day, right before class is over, so that the celebrations do not cut into class time. We have so few, precious hours to educate our students and cupcakes are a yummy, but huge, distraction.

I do have to add that it is important to check with your school to see what is okay and what is not. You don't want to show up with cupcakes to be turned away at the office. I did have this happen to a parent one year and I felt bad that she had gone to all that work but there had been several notices sent home regarding our birthday policies.

If it turns out your school does not allow it then you are off the hook! One less thing to do! Just let your kiddo know that it's the school's fault for not letting you make those 35 cupcakes with fondant My Little Pony characters each handcrafted to match her classmate's personalities!

Photo via Zoey Cakes

After you check with the school then follow up with the teacher. Often the office does not know what is going on in the classroom on a particular day. This will help strengthen your relationship with the teacher by showing respect for her time with his/her students.

My own opinion about sweets in the classroom is that kids should be taught moderation. A cupcake every now and then is not a bad thing. One cupcake will not make them fat. One cupcake will not make most kids hyper.
Check out the article below that explores this topic more fully:

I also believe that parents should have the ability to decide if/when their child eats sweets. It is your child after all! Talk to your child about what to do when a parent brings in a sweet treat.

If you want to bring a treat for your child on their birthday, be it cupcakes or anything else, don't be afraid to speak up!

Check out my Pinterest board dedicated to Birthday Treat Alternatives!

P.S. DO NOT bring a cake with no plates, forks, napkins or some kind of slicing utensil! It only makes for a mess and a grumbling teacher.

What are your thoughts about cupcakes in the classroom? Do you have any awesome alternative ideas that your kids love?


  1. no cupcakes in the classroom?! That's it! Homeschooling! hahaha, jk. From my teacher perspective, I completely agree with you. From the parent perspective I guess I don't a kid I never took treats on my birthday. No one did. My views might change though when my babies actually go to school though ;) Great Blog Desiree! It looks so nice

  2. I agree with this policy, but I completely disagreed with one school that banned any candy, cookies, or chocolate from my child's lunchbox. (That made no sense to me. I get it if other moms don't want their kids to have sugar, processed, refined, whatever, but it's her lunchbox and it was still nut-free.) For Ezri's birthday I checked with her teacher ahead of time and then came in and read The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear to the class and brought them all strawberries and milk (after double checking for allergies!). They hoovered them all and then asked what the birthday treat was, so I guess I was one of the only parents really with it on that policy that was more of a suggestion. When I was young, my mom always made individually-wrapped popcorn balls for my birthday - they were a big hit, not too much sugar, and could be taken home to enjoy instead of being a disruption to class. (LOVE your blog, by the way)

    1. Your ideas for class parties are wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Also I agree with you that schools should not have the power to dictate what is on a student's lunch box (and my daughter has a peanut allergy!). A parent really knows what a child needs each day. Sometimes they need a little treat. I love surprising my little one with something she doesn't normally get in her lunch. I would hate to find out that the school wouldn't let her have it!

  3. I love being able to celebrate my child on their birthdays, but I don't mind finding a way to do that other than with cupcakes. I need to follow your Pinterest board so I am
    better prepared for when that day comes. Brinkly often comes home with a goody bag when it has been someone else's birthday, which seems like a nice alternative.