The Everyday Item NSW Schools Are Banning
An increasing number of schools in NSW are moving to ban birthday cakes, prompting many parents to accuse the "Fun Police" of going too far.
The Central Coast's Wamberal Public School is the latest to follow suit, sending out a newsletter that asked parents to keep celebration cakes out of the classroom; they're citing rising obesity levels, various food allergies and the distraction and time away from lessons as reasons for the ban.
"The days of cakes in schools are finished," Central Coast Parents and Citizens spokeswoman Sharryn Brownlee told The Daily Telegraph. "Teachers see cakes as an unwanted classroom distraction but... at the younger school age, it shouldn't be only about spelling and maths tests.
"Parents also send their children to school to learn how to share... and develop broader social skills.
Even health experts are weighing in; Leticia Campos, a senior dietitian with Nutrition Australia, said that education rather than a total ban would be a smarter way to go.
"If the school wants to address unhealthy birthday cakes, one way would be to educate parents about healthier options - for example, cakes with no icing, or using wholemeal flour," she said.
But NSW Primary Principals' Association president Phil Seymour said food allergies were a huge part of the ban - and a spokesman from Wamberal Public School agreed.
"After concerns expressed by some about the dietary requirements of their children and teachers' inability to determine cake ingredients, the principal has asked - not mandated - that families refrain from sending birthday cake," they said.