My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Magic of Cupcakes

Schools everywhere are making radical changes, and I mean RADICAL. Did you know that at schools across the nation, parents are not allowed to bring cupcakes on their kids' birthday? WHAAT? It's true. There are two completely different scenarios on this topic.

Scenario 1- Parents can't bring HOMEMADE cupcakes on your children's birthday. They can only bring store bought cupcakes because THEN the school knows all the ingredients and whether or not the person baking them has sense enough to fully bake them and not give everyone salmonella. Really. That's the reason. It's true. I've seen it IN WRITING. So tell me this, so many parents are clueless these days that they're not allowed to bake cupcakes for school BUT they are allowed to raise children? Are we completely losing it in this country? People can't be entrusted with CUPCAKES but they can be entrusted with precious, vulnerable children???

Scenario 2- Parents can't bring cupcakes on their child's birthday because it's unhealthy and encourages sugary eating habits. Are you serious? Wait, I'm doing a quick google here. Here's some information from the Institute of Medicine's website. First of all, some 9 million children over the age of 6 are obese. (so those clueless parents mentioned above are managing to cook SOMETHING) And in the last 30 years, the rate of obesity in American children has DOUBLED. Here are some of the reasons cited.
Causes of Childhood Obesity
The rise in childhood obesity is due to complex interactions
across a number of relevant social, environmental,
and policy contexts that influence eating and physical
activity. Over decades, these have collectively created an
adverse environment for maintaining a healthy weight.
This environment is characterized by:
• urban and suburban designs that discourage walking
and other physical activities;
• pressures on families to minimize food costs, acquisition
and preparation time, resulting in frequent consumption
of convenience foods that are high in calories and fat;
• reduced access and affordability in some communities
to fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods;
• decreased opportunities for physical activity at school,
after school, and reduced walking or biking to and from
school; and
• competition for leisure time that was once spent playing
outdoors with sedentary screen time including watching
television or playing computer and video games.

Do you see cupcakes on that list? Do you see birthdays on that list? What stands out to me is the need for physical activity. In all those memos from schools about NO CUPCAKES, could there maybe be a memo to the teachers about recess? That's what's vanishing.

Okay, off my soapbox. Today is my son's 9th birthday. I'll soon be bringing a feast of carrot sticks to celebrate at school, but I don't know how the hell I'll get a candle to stick in one. Maybe a little icing....

No, our school is actually pretty cool about this stuff. We're still okay with obesity in eastern North Carolina, it seems. But it's only a matter of time. Interesting stuff.


Anonymous said...

It sounds crazy. But here's another point of view: At my daughter's elementary school, the rule had been that if you make cupcakes, you need to make enough for both classes--so that meant 54 students. (Besides the fact that I hate making cupcakes-0kay, maybe that's where the bias comes in--that meant making 54 cupcakes.) Conceivably there could be a birthday every other day of the week for the entire school year. So every few days, the teacher is stopping class to serve cupcakes. Maybe if they just stuck to the one class... I don't know, but it seemed pretty excessive to me. And that really is a lot of junk food.

Dorothy said...

That firt part about the cupcakes would make a good article or at least letter to the editor. It is pretty ridiculous that mothers can't be trusted to that extent. One wonders what they feed the poor kids on a regular basis.

When my kids were little, mothers took cookies for birthdays. Same thinking would apply I guess. I'm still laughing at how funny you made it look.

Liz said...

I agree with Jody to an extent, but I have heard of a woman who has started a crusade to stop cupcakes at school where she lives. She was pretty over the top in the interview, and most definitely not popular amongst the other moms! You're right, DK, increase physical activity!!

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman