Should Schools Ban Cupcakes?

Robert Clark/National Geographic Creative (cupcake); debate photos courtesy of families

Students in Appleton, Wisconsin, may notice something missing from school holiday parties. There won’t be any cupcakes or other sweet treats. Starting this school year, students in public schools in the district are not allowed to bring in snacksfor celebrations. 

Many other U.S. schools have similar rules. In Appleton, officials argue that students with food allergies were often left out of celebrations that had sweets. They also say that some students could not afford to bring in a treat for everyone in class. Supporters of this type of ban argue that schools shouldn’t encourage kids to eat unhealthy snacks.

But not everyone wants to cut cupcakes from classroom parties. Some people think it’s OK to have sweets for special occasions. They point out that no one has to be left out. Parents can send in snacks with safe ingredients for kids who have food allergies.

Here’s what two of our readers think.

A cupcake contains a lot of sugar and fat. Eating too many foods like this is unhealthy. One in five kids and teens in the United States are obese, or very overweight. That’s according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s a lot of work for parents to make snacks for the entire class. And many kids are allergic to the nuts, eggs, and dairy products that are often ingredients in sweets. Making different foods for kids with allergies would be even more difficult.

Kids should be allowed to enjoy a cupcake or a cookie at a class party. For some kids, a class party is the only chance they’ll get to celebrate their birthday with all of their classmates. For instance, when I have a sleepover, boys aren’t invited. So school parties should be as special as possible.

Besides, it’s not like we eat cupcakes in class every day. We have parties only a few times a year. And we burn off the extra calories from sweets at recess or in gym class.

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