- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2014

Students at a northern Kentucky elementary school have been banned from celebrating birthdays with cake or any other snacks in an effort to promote healthy food choices.

Burlington Elementary School, part of the Boone County school district, was the first to revise its wellness policy this year to ban food from school birthday celebrations, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Non-food treats such as pencils, balloons, erasers and bookmarks are still allowed, the school policy said.

“We’re finding it’s difficult to be the first,” said parent Valerie Bailey, who serves on the PTA and the committee that helped craft the policy, the Enquirer reported. “Parents say it’s not fair. But we hope it sends a message to the parents and kids, especially with the obesity rate being so high, and puts a bug in their ear.”

“It’s not up to us to tell parents what to do,” said Kathy Reutman, who is in charge of making sure the wellness policies for Boone County schools meet federal guidelines, the Enquirer reported.

“But when children are in our care we make sure that nothing gets in the way of them and their learning. Food allergies or too much sugar get in the way of that,” she added.

A Seattle-area school district recently passed a similar rule, banning all edible treats from elementary school parties.

Ms. Reutman said fun doesn’t have to include food.

“Our biggest thing is making sure the kids are safe and healthy and ready to learn,” she told the Enquirer.

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