Food Nannies Ban Holiday Cupcakes at School

Rick Moran
The majority of Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of bans on smoking in public including restaurants and bars. In fact, the banning of smoking has been one of the most successful citizen-led public health campaigns in history.

Regardless of what you can say about the health benefits of banning tobacco, the fact of the matter is that at bottom, it is the state regulating behavior - a questionable function of government in a democracy.

Now we have the growing movement, fueled by an obesity panic, to regulate the kinds of foods we are allowed to eat. The movement has targeted children - spurred by a law that requires schools to alter the nutrition habits of kids - and is being pushed by that segment of our society that gets enormous pleasure out of telling others how to live their lives.

The latest manifestation of the nannie's efforts to control what we put in our mouths is the banning of Holiday cupcakes at schools:

The once ubiquitous cupcake, iced to perfection and colorfully sprinkled, may be slowly fading from the school landscape. As elementary classrooms prepare for holiday parties this week, some schools plan to ban the treat in the steady push to improve nutrition with in schools statewide.

What began with strict dietary guidelines for cafeteria food and a soda pop-ban in grade school vending machines increasingly extends to the last beachhead for sugar-laden food in schools: classroom parties and holiday treats.

Across the Chicago region, districts from Naperville to Gurnee are clamping down on the types of food that parents can bring for class snacks and parties, requesting veggie trays or bread sticks with marinara sauce in lieu of sweets, and water rather than juice boxes.

"It's very much uncharted territory," said Ann Goldbach, principal of Woodland West Elementary School in north suburban Gages Lake.
To believe that denying a couple of cupcakes during the Holiday season is going to make a difference in a child's overall nutrition is idiotic. The Holidays are a time for celebration. And for generations of American kids, that celebration has taken the form of treats at school, shared in a true spirit of Christmas, with their friends and classmates. The mindset of administrators who seek to change that tradition not for the sake of better nutrition but in the name of controlling what kids eat is nanny statism at its worst. 

Veggie trays with marinaro sauce will inspire little celebration among kids - unless children have radically altered their brain chemistry in the last few years. And banning cupcakes only destroys the notion that Holidays are special.

Hat Tip: Mike Carney



The majority of Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of bans on smoking in public including restaurants and bars. In fact, the banning of smoking has been one of the most successful citizen-led public health campaigns in history.

Regardless of what you can say about the health benefits of banning tobacco, the fact of the matter is that at bottom, it is the state regulating behavior - a questionable function of government in a democracy.

Now we have the growing movement, fueled by an obesity panic, to regulate the kinds of foods we are allowed to eat. The movement has targeted children - spurred by a law that requires schools to alter the nutrition habits of kids - and is being pushed by that segment of our society that gets enormous pleasure out of telling others how to live their lives.

The latest manifestation of the nannie's efforts to control what we put in our mouths is the banning of Holiday cupcakes at schools:

The once ubiquitous cupcake, iced to perfection and colorfully sprinkled, may be slowly fading from the school landscape. As elementary classrooms prepare for holiday parties this week, some schools plan to ban the treat in the steady push to improve nutrition with in schools statewide.

What began with strict dietary guidelines for cafeteria food and a soda pop-ban in grade school vending machines increasingly extends to the last beachhead for sugar-laden food in schools: classroom parties and holiday treats.

Across the Chicago region, districts from Naperville to Gurnee are clamping down on the types of food that parents can bring for class snacks and parties, requesting veggie trays or bread sticks with marinara sauce in lieu of sweets, and water rather than juice boxes.

"It's very much uncharted territory," said Ann Goldbach, principal of Woodland West Elementary School in north suburban Gages Lake.
To believe that denying a couple of cupcakes during the Holiday season is going to make a difference in a child's overall nutrition is idiotic. The Holidays are a time for celebration. And for generations of American kids, that celebration has taken the form of treats at school, shared in a true spirit of Christmas, with their friends and classmates. The mindset of administrators who seek to change that tradition not for the sake of better nutrition but in the name of controlling what kids eat is nanny statism at its worst. 

Veggie trays with marinaro sauce will inspire little celebration among kids - unless children have radically altered their brain chemistry in the last few years. And banning cupcakes only destroys the notion that Holidays are special.

Hat Tip: Mike Carney