December 17, 2007, - 3:36 pm

Latest PC Party-Poopage: No More Cupcakes

By Debbie Schlussel
I’ve said it before and it applies eternally: scramble the letters of NANNY STATE, and you get NEAT ‘N’ NASTY.
When I was in school, we had soda machines, ice cream and junk food vending, and cake for people’s birthdays. But I–and most of my classmates–didn’t get fat. I played tennis, ran track (and did cross-country/distance running, too), and went on walks outside with my dad. And I didn’t eat junk food all the time, just ‘cuz there was a machine down the hall at school.
In the good old days–not too long ago–we didn’t have a chubby, McDonald’s-and-Monica addict former President (and future male First Lady) getting on the high horse and convincing companies and our schools to do away with food sources, so that we wouldn’t have to learn how to exercise self-control . . . and exercise, period.


Nanny State Food Police: No More Cupcakes for Kiddies in Chicago-Area

But that’s all changed. Bill Clinton strong-armed soft drink companies to take their machines out of schools. Ditto for candy and ice cream vendors. Now, there are boring fruit and peanut choices all of the time because kids are taught not to use sound judgment and will power any of the time.
The latest casualty is cupcakes in Chicago-area schools, including the hifalutin’ mansion-encrusted suburb of Lake Forest and the upper-middle class Naperville. And no more Chrismas cookies either. They’re using Christmas cookie cutters to cut wheat bread” instead of cookies:

“The kids don’t notice they are not getting to decorate a cookie. They just like to decorate something,” said Pam Salm, a Lake Forest mother who oversees almost two dozen partent volunteers at Cherokee Elementary School.

Uh, kids not noticing their cookies are being taken away and replaced with whole wheat bread? Who are you kidding, lady? They notice. And not only are cupcakes and cookies off-limits, the food Nazis are telling teachers what they can and cannot bring to school for their own lunches and snacks. Talk about statism. This is the first legit issue for a teachers union I’ve heard of in a while:

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. . . .
School districts nationwide fashioned wellness policies last year after a federal law required schools to develop a kindergarten-to-high school plan for nutrition and physical education. Confronted with rising rates of child obesity and a surge of youth allergies, many local schools seized the moment to take a firm stand against junk food served anywhere and any time in the building — including fare offered by parents for classroom parties, bake sales and club meetings.
But changes to cafeteria food and vending machines did not affect parents as this round of changes will. In some schools, this holiday season could test the new nutritious bounds.
Pam Salm’s phone started ringing just after Thanksgiving.
The Lake Forest mother oversees nearly two dozen parent volunteers at Cherokee Elementary School. The role thrust Salm to the front line of questioning from parents who wondered how to make parties festive, but also nourishing, as required by Lake Forest School District 67’s wellness policy hammered out by educators, parents, nurses and nutritionists and approved in June. The policy put a premium on nutrition lessons, physical activity and healthy food choices by students and parents who volunteer to feed them during school parties and meetings.
Cheese and crackers, dried fruits, baked chips, low-fat pudding cups or other healthful snacks are served. Offerings must be nut-free, a concession to child allergy concerns, and void of saturated fats and high-fructose corn syrup. That means no juice boxes, no cookies and no pizza. That is, unless it’s of the whole-wheat, fat-free cheese pie variety.

So many restrictions, my head is spinning. It’s like going to dinner with a humorless, whining feminist. Everything is problematic and a downer.

With holiday parties looming, Salm and other parents have been digging for alternatives.
Rather than decorating cookies, some organizers plan to use Christmas-tree cookie-cutters on wheat bread, iced with low-fat cream cheese and decorated with sliced veggies such as shredded carrots, mini-broccoli or cut up red peppers. Fresh fruit skewers could double as reindeer antlers. Baked chips colored red and green lend a festive feel. . . .
Meanwhile, similar efforts to give classroom parties a healthful tune-up gain momentum nationally. Educators and parents increasingly try to make snacks and lunch fare reflect what is taught in health classes. Consistency is critical, child health experts said. The challenge comes as schools try to shift the focus away from food to games and crafts during classroom parties.
“If you’re preaching more fruits and vegetables and no soda, and then you have a bag of chips and a Coke on your desk, the students will recognize that,” said Christine Cliff, a dietitian with Illinois NET, a nutrition, education and training program based in Sycamore. . . .
A rash of child food allergies — an estimated 3.1 million U.S. children have them — and the cultural objections families may have to some foods also fueled the change, school leaders said. . . .
For the second year, Naperville elementary school principals have sent home a list of ingredients for each item that will be served at holiday parties, so families can alert school officials not to serve a particular snack to their child. Like Lake Forest, Naperville schools no longer permit food at classroom birthday celebrations. . . .
The change can be tough to swallow, educators and child nutrition experts acknowledge.

Some sports commentators call the NFL, the No Fun League. But I think that moniker stretches to the Nanny State moms of the Chicago-area, who’ve been swept up by this move to eliminate fun, choice . . . and any sense of personal responsibility from America’s kids today.
In other words, it’s unhealthy to always be so healthy. It’s NEAT for the PC Food Police. But it’s NASTY for you.
Cookies and cupcakes are part of the fun of being a kid. And part of learning how to impose your own limits on yourself when the Nanny State tofu-and-botox-set moms of Lake Forest and Naperville aren’t there holding your hand.
Taking away that training is what causes obesity in America, not the availability of choices, including sweets.
Cupcakes and cookies banned today. Persimmons and tuna melts, tomorrow.

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18 Responses

[If you’re preaching more fruits and vegetables and no soda, and then you have a bag of chips and a Coke on your desk, the students will recognize that,” said Christine Cliff, a dietitian with Illinois NET, a nutrition, education and training program based in Sycamore. . . .]
More and more, we are treating children like adults and adults like children. The food police are not just ruining it for the kids but for everyone else.

Norman Blitzer on December 17, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Granted, the PC police are overdoing it, and the kids should be able to have cupcakes for XMAS. At the same time, some foods are definitely better than others, and I don’t see anything wrong with having much more descriptive nutrition listings for supermarket products, a decrease of the almost universally misleading food claims, (such as being able to call something Whole Grain when it can be as little as 25% whole grain), and real nutrition education, especially for adults. Maybe there will be less obesity, diabetes, etc., etc. Otherwise, at least I shouldn’t have to pay health insurance premiums for these people. I do think the schools as a whole can do better.
There are even some soy products that taste good to many people (e.g. soy ice cream, some soy sausage/meatballs, etc.) They are making some of these things a lot tastier than they used to.

c f on December 17, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I agree. It is great to eat healthy, but every now and then you want to be able to get something that is bad for you but tastes o so good. A lot of restaurants are moving towards these bland earthy sauces to keep up with a health concious populace. If you all you do is sit on your butt and play video games, then yes your diet will be ONE of the factors that leads you to obesity. If kids would go outside and play every once in a while, they wouldn’t swell up. If parents would encourage them to go outside, this could help, too. If they won’t go outside and play, you could give them chores that make them exert some energy. We have become a society where we are either sitting on our butts surfing the net, playing video games or watching tv. These are all ok in moderation, but not as our sole forms of entertainment. You are suppose to teach your kids how to take care of themselves. Not just have the government regulate their food intake and hope that when the time comes for them to make their own decisions, they will know what to do.

Ford Jones on December 17, 2007 at 4:39 pm

If they put this much effort into creating effective curricula for students, perhaps students would be able to make these decisions on their own. The present educational practices ensure that a large portion of graduates will never be able to think well enough to not need governmental assistance.

sonofsheldon on December 17, 2007 at 4:44 pm

Boy did I graduate from school at the right time before the death busters took over the public school system. When I was in school, we always had pizza, chicken nuggets, tacos, even cheeseburgers and fries!
Today the death busters are now telling children what they can and can’t do, instead of teaching them how to make good decisions on how much they should and shouldn’t eat.

Squirrel3D on December 17, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Why don’t all those genetically defective losers with food allergies just die already. We’re becoming a nation of wimps with allergies, asthma and glasses.

LoveAManInAUniform on December 17, 2007 at 6:38 pm

There’s a million starving kids in India…

There is NO Santa Claus on December 17, 2007 at 8:20 pm

This story sort of reminded me about how ice cream and alcohol beverages were recently outlawed in Venezuela.With cupcakes banned in the US, it shows us that our food policies don’t differ much than Hugo Chavez’s.I would never think it would ever come to this.Soon enough, the health gestapo will shut down pizzerias. Krispy Kream and Dunkin’ Doughuts will be their targets.
A little common sense goes a long way but one little cupcake isn’t going to give you ADHD.

Jew Chick on December 17, 2007 at 8:32 pm

cf..”Otherwise, at least I shouldn’t have to pay health insurance premiums for these people”…an understandable feeling, but there’s a dangerous slippery slope here. Some people might not like paying health insurance premiums for those who don’t visit a gym regularly. Some might not like paying premiums for those who engage in skiing, with the risk of twisted ankles & broken legs. Some might not like paying auto insurance premiums for people who don’t have speed governors on their cars. on December 17, 2007 at 10:40 pm

The issue here isnt whether kids make the right decision in watching what they eat…it’s exercise people. Our nation is a lazy nation and its starting to show in our children. When I was in school we had pizza, junk food and sodas but, at the same time we had 2 hours worth of exercising; Cardiovascular and free weights…and no PS2.

RadicalRightWinger on December 18, 2007 at 9:15 am

You bring up a real good point. They are banning all of these unhealthy food, because we have a rampant obesity problem. They have slowly weeded out the exercise programs, because it discriminates against the unathletic. So instead of helping those individuals learn how to exercise, they just do away with it. Of course our children aren’t prepared for the world, we shelter them for 18 years and then throw them out into the world completely unprepared to deal with it.

Ford Jones on December 18, 2007 at 9:36 am

Not to prolong this discussion but diet and exercise each play an independent role in optimal health; if one is counterposed to the other, the role of the other one is not adequately recognized. Optimal health is more than just not being overweight.
Even though slippery slopes can be treacherous, the existence of a slippery slope shouldn’t prevent us from being able to make judgments; many insurance companies charge higher premiums for smokers. For nutrition, effect is easier to recognize than cause. Insurance companies aren’t going to monitor our daily eating, but they may someday monitor obesity, existence of diabetes, or other conditions which increase health risk.

c f on December 18, 2007 at 11:01 am

Here’s an idea: let’s limit the use of food stamps to healthy foods, instead of sugary sweets and high fat junk. I’m sure the libs will go for that in a heartbeat! Oh wait, no – it will alienate them from their base of government handout recipients.

JasonBourne81 on December 18, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Have to disagree with you on this one, Debbie. While I am all for personal responsibility, the truth is that these children are not capable of making healthy food choices because they have never been taught and surely eat trash at home just like their parents. Once a person becomes accustomed to trash, they have no “taste” for quality, healthy foods. I grew up on a junk food diet of Wonder Bread and yellow processed cheese, Fritos and KoolAid. Now I have health problems due to that.
We need to be looking out for kids since in so many cases, they don’t have competent, strong parents to do it for them. Sadly, when individuals shirk their duties, the government has to step in. I hate it; it goes against my values, but on the other hand, I don’t want to see children hurt. A sugary diet can cause anxiety, inability to concentrate due to wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels, behavioral problems, in addition to obesity and dental problems.
Sorry, but I think you are way off on this one. No child is going to choose roast beef and a green salad over a Snicker’s bar and a soda for lunch.

AmericanJewess on December 19, 2007 at 10:19 am

Debbie, another thing, you are about my age, I think. So we grew up in the same era in America. When I was in school, we had cafeteria lunches which, while not the most healthful from my current point of view, at least attempted to be balanced. We did not have any snack machines at school — NADA. Never. In junior high, we used to sneak off school grounds during recess and run down to the corner store and buy our junk food, but it was never available at school. My high school also did not even have so much as a soda machine. So I’m not sure where you went to school but it sure sounds different from what I remember. I attended schools in Texas, NM and AZ, so it wasn’t just one school system that I’m talking about.
Fast forward to when my son attended school, and there were junk food machines everywhere. Not only that, but gone forever were the cafeteria style lunches, replaced by a “food court” including Burger King, McDonald’s and a pizza place. Give me a break. What choice did the kids have? I am not sure why you think rewarding these junk food corporations with huge financial gains at the expense of our children’s health is a good thing.
Sometimes I just don’t follow your thinking.

AmericanJewess on December 19, 2007 at 10:24 am

Condoms, birth control pills, gender neutral bathrooms, sexual minority status, detentions for hugging a good friend goodbye for the weekend, BUT NO CUPCAKES!
Yes, we ARE making a difference in our schools!

Jim Phelan on December 19, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Just one more of the many examples of the Nanny Socialist State controlling and planning our lives.
Just think of the money we could save if we fired all of these idiots and instead we taught math, science, English and history.
Of course, all of the leeches that live off the taxpayers would be unemployed and the people would be able to have the liberty the Constitution guarantees us in the Bill of Rights.

ScottyDog on December 19, 2007 at 5:56 pm

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