Cupcake Question of the Day

September 7, 2008 at 9:34 PM | Posted in Cupcake Question of the Day, cupcakes | 30 Comments

Schools across the US are banning cupcakes as a birthday treat, asking parents to send healthy “treats” or nothing at all.

Do you agree or disagree? Why?

To be honest… I am torn. I understand the concern about diabetes, allergies, obesity and sugar-induced-hyperactivity in children but when I was a child, some of my favorite memories were classmates’ birthdays b/c that meant one thing:


The birthday boy/girl gets to be the star, passing out cupcakes and the rest of the class gets to eat the homemade cakey frosting goodness. Everyone wins, right?


I guess all I am saying is… I am glad I didn’t miss out on that childhood memory. And I turned out ok…ok… ok… [malfunction]



  1. Personally, I think it’s absurd. It’s ONE CUPCAKE. One cupcake is not going to single-handedly make a child obese, and preventing them from eating that cupcake is not going to make a difference in their health either. Even if you argue that there could be up to 30 students, and therefore thirty birthdays, in each class – still, that’s thirty cupcakes over the course of the school year. The school year usually has at least 180 days, so that averages out to a little less than one cupcake a week – and that’s if the class is pretty big, and it assumes that none of the children have a birthday in the summer or during break, and that every child brings in cupcakes (neither of which is usually the case).

    So, to conclude, terror about childhood obesity (which hasn’t risen for about six years now, and is an almost useless indicator of health in almost every case given how children grow in spurts and can change height and weight quickly) is a really stupid reason to ban cupcakes.

    But allergy concerns are reasonable.

    Sorry for the rant, it’s an issue that hit a nerve! :)

  2. Disagree! I think if one were eating right at home then the occasional treat wouldn’t be a problem. I’m constantly baffled by what I see going into family grocery carts.

  3. I think the solution is muffins. Really sweet muffins with a “filling” injected into their middles. It would just be coincidence that the filling had some powdered sugar in it, right?

  4. I disagree with it too. I really don’t think that the one cupcake for a birthday is going to cause them to be overweight. If there is an allergie, the parent should be notified and bring something for that child.

  5. I think its ridiculous too. Liams school started a rule this year that if the first ingredient in whatever you are sending is sugar, do not send it. The 1st ingredient in cupcakes would be flour, right? ;)

  6. I too think that this is ridiculous! While I do like some of the ideas that my dd school is doing this year (such as having a walking day where the whole school walks together) I do not agree with the no treat rule. When a person is on a diet and they want to cheat (by eating a cupcake) and don’t, when give the chance they could possibly eat more (like by eating a cake). One cupcake is not going to kill them!! We need to teach them to eat correctly and that does include a treat now and again!

  7. Silly nonsense!
    I agree with what Kristina said.
    Eating right should begin at home. One cupcake shouldn’t be a big deal! It’s nice for kids to have a treat with their classmates. Jeeeesh!

  8. Total BS. Kids need to eat right at home and that’s all there is to it.

  9. Don’t adults have BETTER more IMPORTANT things to concern themselves with than a few cupcakes that might be brought in to celebrate a child’s special day? Everything in moderation! I have an elementary school age daughter. She isn’t eating cupcakes everyday (at school). She isn’t even eating them once a month! What these adults need to do is help promote more physical activity at school and at home. If the kids had an hour of PE everyday and/or a recess they wouldn’t have to watch what they eat so closely and they would be less restless in class.

    Leave the cupcakes ALONE!

  10. Um…are you kidding? I think it’s ridonculous! All things in moderation right? ONE cupcake isn’t going to cause a child to be diabetic or obese. Classic example of people complaining just to complain I think.
    Where I’m at the schools won’t even let you do HOMEMADE treats anymore…you have to do store-bought cupcakes (premade) or cakes. Stupid.

  11. I think it’s insanity. Kids should learn how to eat right at home, not at school. As a teacher it is not my job to monitor what kids eat, it’s their parents. And I hardly think a cupcake now and again is going to send anyone over the edge.

  12. I vote for cupcakes! My daughter’s school hasn’t banned them, but they are not allowed to have bake sales any longer on school time or directly after school. As a matter of fact, I think the only bake sale they have now is on election day, when the school is open only to voters. Here’s another “I don’t get it” – they don’t want you to bring in sugary foods, but it’s okay to serve the children who are on the breakfast program “sugared cereal”, like “FruitLoops” and “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” for breakfast along with their choice of chocolate milk?

  13. Craziness! A cupcake isn’t going to ruin a child… good grief… are they supposed to be in plastic bubbles these days?

  14. My Nana (grandmother) lived by the rule “everything in moderation” that is what we should be teaching kids :) I mean it’s really sad when you look around at the pool and see nothing but bulging “beer guts” on 10 year old boys… restricting them isn’t going to solve that belly, the issue runs far far deeper than that.

    Have you heard that C is for celery now on Sesame Street??? man!

  15. This was tried in schools in Scotland, because Scottish schools are trying to be Health Promoting Schools, but eventually, the eduction system realised a fairy cake/piece of birthday cake isn’t going to harm anyone really, so its cake ahoy!!

  16. I think if schools were so concerned about the obesity problem they should get rid of the vending machines, or make healthier school lunches. But leave the cupcakes alone. When I was a kid we always had a treat for a kid’s birthday. Fortunately I live in the boonies and they probably haven’t caught on to the no cupcake idea yet. :)

  17. kids wouldn’t even want to have a birthday if all they got were healthy snacks to celebrate with :(. How many kids in a class even celebrate a birthday during a school day? Probably only a handful. What a silly idea.

    On another note, I just recently used your chocolate cupcake/buttercream frosting recipe and can I just say WOW! DELICIOUS! Even the uncooked batter was so good I pretty much downed a whole cupcake’s worth. I need to thank you again for posting all your wonderful recipes. I’m going to try the crême brulée one next!!

  18. My kids’ school superintendent was on MSNBC or something like that talking about the district ban of cupcakes. I’m a room mom, and we can’t even do sugary treats for the class parties. For several years there has been a ban on homemade treats because of allergies–which I completely agree with since I have a peanut/tree nut allergy kid and want her to be safe–but you could still bring in store bought cupcakes, cookies, etc so that an ingredient list could be read.

    What I don’t get is the rule the second grade teachers have implemented at my kids’ school: only fruits or vegetables in their natural skins–if you send in dip with the carrots, they throw it away. If you send in anything else it gets sent home. If you send in a cut up apple, it gets sent home. If I want to go to Costco and buy a big box of sliced apples and send them with my kids, what is the big deal? Thankfully, my kids aren’t in second grade, or we would have a HUGE problem and I’d probably be kicked out of the PTA because my kids WOULD be eating what I sent them

  19. I think that’s taking it a bit far, I mean I get the whole obesity epidemic thing but everything in moderation right? I’m going to make mini cupcakes for my daugthers birthday!

  20. Let’s not pick on the Cupcake as it has done no crime! As many have already said, the problem is with making sure the kids get a balanced diet and it starts at home. I do know that once my kids get a dose of sugar, the odds of their attention span being dramatically shortened increases…which probably means that their ability to learn is reduced. It seems that with “Early Out Days” seemingly happening every other day, I don’t know how the kids have enough time in school to learn anyways – so, although I love cupcakes, cakes, and many other desserts – like Soda Machines, I would personally prefer my kids not be loaded up on sugar while at school – to me, it doesn’t matter what the sugar is disguised in – even if it would be a muffin filled with powdered sugar :) This may be against many parents general feeling, but I would rather have my kids all sugared up when they are having fun with me! Now that’s a great time that I get to share with my kids.

  21. Oh my gosh, you crack me up.*laughing out loud at work* oops!

    I think I am with you on the cupcakes in schools issue. I understand the health issue and all that but, they should be allowed a treat once in a while. How about one cupcake day a month for all the kid’s birthdays in that month?

    Favorite drink-right now I am on a vanilla Margarita kick-that would possibly translate to a tequilla vanilla lime cupcake and frosting sprinkled with some coarse salt.
    How about a Chocolate Guinness cupcake with a mascarpone Baily’s frosting.
    or a butter-rum and cranberry pecan combo.
    or Fuzzy navel cupcake. I could go on so I’ll stop. :)

  22. puh-leese. we can’t send homemade treats to my daughter’s daycare, but store bought are okay. while i get the allergy thing, the irony is that i could make yummy treats that are healthier than the grocery store does.

  23. I work at a school and it makes me sad kids can’t bring cupcakes for birthdays- especially when the uninformed parent shows up with them and is sent home. I’m much more concerned health wise about the school lunches they are eating every day and the fact that our kids eat 3-5 times in the 7 hours they are with us.

  24. I personally think banning them is an extreme reaction. First of all, the birthday cupcakes come but a few times a year. It isn’t like they’re being fed sugary treats on a daily basis! That being said, it is a parent’s responsibility to make sure their kids eat healthy ALL THE TIME, not the school’s. I can see if the school’s don’t want to serve that kind of stuff but a once-in-a-while occasion will not kill anyone. I thought it was absurd when they started insisting all treats come from a store as opposed to homemade but I’ve made my peace with it.

  25. I agree that cupcakes should be banned. Cupcakes get in the way of the meals prepared by KFC and MickeyD’s and eaten by many school aged kids. Plus they interfere with frozen pizzas, mac and cheese in a box and all the candy collected at Hallowe’en, Christmas, Valentines and Easter.
    If you can’t bring sensible treats, don’t bring any at all…. or bring celery.

  26. Ahh! I just finished blogging about this… My daughter’s preschool banned them too. And she’s 3! They got banned for the mess factor… like my daughter can’t make a mess with absolutely anything she’s given. She’s a frickin’ toddler. I cried, because obviously I need therapy.

  27. LEAH83, aaawww how sad. I’d probably cry too. Mess factor huh? Thats a new one. I haven’t heard that one before. What’s your blog? I’d love to read your take on it…

  28. I disagree with the ban. I remember being SO excited on my birthday…getting to come to school, pass out my cupcakes, singing happy birthday, etc. etc. They’re making kids miss out on those fun experiences. And like other said, one cupcake never hurt anyone. Eating 5 in one sitting just MIGHT give you a stomach ache though!

  29. I hate the rules for my kindergartener’s school.

    We can’t send homemade goodies for snack time.

    We can’t send cupcakes or rice krispie treats.

    We can’t send anything with a high sugar count.

    So, what do most parents send? Graham crackers, goldfish, cheeze-its and juice boxes. Ummmm…
    can someone please show me where these are healthy foods? These are actually recommended by the school board!

    We can send fresh fruit but we can’t cut it up at home, and have you seen how much it is to get pre-sliced apples? And can you imagine how long it would take the teacher to slice up 24 apples?

    Stupid school board with their stupid rules.

  30. How about we give the kids a cupcake for thier birthday and quit using candy as a reward for behavior. My kids school supply list actually included bring in 2 bags of candy. How about some toothpaste and brush’s to go with their rotten teeth…a fully frosted cupcake would do less damage to both their teeth and their buns than a laffy taffy…

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