Friday, October 9, 2009

Bake Sales Banned?

The classic school fundraiser, the bake sale, will no longer be an option for kids in NYC. The education department, with some exceptions, has banned bake sales in New York City schools. The new policy was actually put into place last year, but it is said that this is the first year where the rules and regulations will be strictly monitored.

It's no wonder the education department started second guessing school bake sales. They reported that roughly 40 percent of the city’s elementary and middle school students are overweight or obese. All those cookies and brownies can't be good for students' physiques.

According to the New York Times, the new policy also limits what can be sold in vending machines and school stores. However, after 6 p.m., allowance of bake sales is back on. So as long as your munching down your high-calorie snacks and putting on the pounds after school, the education department is okay with it.

While the education department has addressed unhealthy snacks during in-school hours, nowhere in the policy does it mention an altercation of the schools' cafeteria food. While there is finally a movement towards schools serving healthier food of better quality, there are still few who actually do so. When I went to school, they served us low-grade chicken nuggets, greasy beef tacos, slimy lunch meat, chicken patties, pan pizza, sugary chocolate milk, off brand tasty cakes, and other such unhealthy, fatty food choices. I could make at least a 5 page list of all the crap they served us. And while I got fed up with the unable-to-swallow food they served us, I was one of the few who actually took the time to pack a lunch. While my friends often complained about the food and would have welcomed healthier options, they didn't want to spend their time (or possibly their futile reputation) making a lunch. Reasons like this show why schools need to give students a little push and serve healthy, edible choices, not just the few parents or kids who take it upon themselves to eat healthy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of overweight young people in the nation has more than tripled since 1980. That statistic right there tells you that healthy eating habits need to be not only taught, but enforced in schools. Bake sales can't just be banned. Real, healthy food needs to actually be served to students.

If healthy food were to be served in the cafeterias, then maybe an occasional in-school bake sale would be okay. Instead of being condemned for health purposes, bake sales could be looked at as a fun treat that kids can integrate into their already healthy lifestyles.

Young kids shouldn't have to be going on diets, watching their weight, or deprived of traditional bake sale fundraising opportunities. Young kids should just be able to run around and be kids. But that's just the problem. In today's society, many kids aren't running around, and many parents and schools are feeding their kids crap. This makes it so fun events, such as bake sales, have to be banned.

New York is not the first area to ban school bake sales, however they do have some of the strictest regulations. Other places, such as California, have banned bake sales or at lesat put a limit on the sugar and fat content of snacks.

However, I think schools need to stop focusing their time on school treat regulations and start putting their efforts towards changing the meal that almost every kid eats- school lunch.

1 comment:

  1. So true. Kids don't have to eat from the vending machines or buy bake sale goods, but they do have to eat lunch everyday. Why not start with one meal that they eat everyday? Use that opportunity to teach them about wholesome and nutritious foods.

    Thought provoking post. Well done!