Few news stories recently have caused quite as much discussion among moms as the recent news that Massachusetts is looking towards banning the time honored tradition of the bake sale.
According to recent news coverage, as of August 1 everything from bakes sales to special “treats” for achievements will be banned during the school day.
In addition, lawmakers are also pushing for strict rules regarding food at after school events and fundraising.
Now, it’s not that the bake sale is the end all be all of social occasions. It’s not that we, as moms, look forward to spending all day baking cupcakes and cookies to sell to the masses. It’s not even that bake sales and other “food orientated” events are the only possible way to raise money for schools and other non profits. Frankly, it’s that these events are a whole lot of fun for our kids and, at the same time, benefit our school and sports programs.
Now, I’m not saying that kids can’t have a good time without junk food but, reality is, on certain occasions it really does make things fun.
Take for example the time honored tradition of the ice cream social. Honestly, what can possibly be more fun for an elementary school student than watching the school principal roll up his or her sleeves and start scooping the ice cream for each student’s make your own sundae? I’m sorry but I just don’t think that “make your own salad” would provide quite the same effect.
Does that mean that it should happen every night? No, of course not, but aren’t kids allowed a chance to let loose and have some fun just as much as adults?
Shouldn’t we, as adults be trying to teach our kids about living life with a good, healthy balance? Shouldn’t we be teaching them to know their limits and find a way to live with a healthy attitude as well as a healthy diet?
Yes, I absolutely can not deny that there is a huge problem with childhood obesity in today’s society but is banning any and all high calorie foods at school events truly the answer?
What happens, then, when kids grow up and start living in the real world where decisions aren’t made for them? If we don’t provide them with coping skills and tools today how will they know what good decisions really are when they are on their own?
Shouldn’t educating kids as well as their parents about good health and good choices be our first priority? Isn’t it more important for kids to have three good, healthy meals each and every day than to worry about a cupcake or two on a special occasion?
I can’t lie. I have a reputation for being the mom who bakes and hands out “Wildcat Blue” cupcakes after sporting events on a regular basis. I have gotten quite a few thank you’s, a whole lot of smiles and, frankly, more satisfaction than you could imagine.
Have I done harm to any of the kids that I’ve handed a cupcake to? I certainly hope not. I prefer to think that I’ve shown them that somebody cares enough to make them a special treat for a job well done.
I do believe that Massachusetts lawmakers are trying to do the right thing. I simply, however, do not agree that banning high calorie foods on every occasion is the answer. I think that better education about fitness, nutrition and making good decisions for both parents and kids is the way to ensure long term success and wellbeing.