- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Seattle-area school district is banning birthday cakes and all edible treats from classroom parties next year in an effort to promote healthy eating and food safety.

The Edmonds School District’s Wellness Committee states in its guide to schools that birthday parties in classrooms may be celebrated with non-food treats only.

The Daily Herald reports that some schools are offering children gift pencils, origami frogs and extra recess time in lieu of cake.

Though birthday treats are off the table, “food may be served at three classroom celebrations (such as seasonal, cultural or curriculum related) per classroom per year,” the guide said.

Inspired by the federal Wellness Policy, the district says decreasing kids’ sugar intake is a healthy step.

“We’re not just talking about one cupcake a year, we’re talking about 25 cupcakes a year,” said DJ Jakala, spokeswoman for the Edmonds School District.

“It is a philosophical transition,” she said of the new rule, the Daily Herald reported.

But not everyone is thrilled with the new policy.

Richard Martinson argued that some classroom parties might be the only celebration with friends a child might have.

“It’s a little bit of fun that makes school more bearable, and now it’s gone,” he told the paper.

“It ruins the fun,” Kristy Sweetwood told a local Fox affiliate. “The birthday treat, that’s something special. I don’t think you should mess with that.”

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