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Massachusetts Banning Bake Sales?

Recent discussion has caught the attention of local moms.

Few news stories recently have caused quite as much discussion among moms as the recent news that Massachusetts is looking towards banning the time honored tradition of the bake sale.

According to recent news coverage, as of August 1 everything from bakes sales to special “treats” for achievements will be banned during the school day. 

In addition, lawmakers are also pushing for strict rules regarding food at after school events and fundraising.

Now, it’s not that the bake sale is the end all be all of social occasions. It’s not that we, as moms, look forward to spending all day baking cupcakes and cookies to sell to the masses. It’s not even that bake sales and other “food orientated” events are the only possible way to raise money for schools and other non profits. Frankly, it’s that these events are a whole lot of fun for our kids and, at the same time, benefit our school and sports programs.

Now, I’m not saying that kids can’t have a good time without junk food but, reality is, on certain occasions it really does make things fun. 

Take for example the time honored tradition of the ice cream social. Honestly, what can possibly be more fun for an elementary school student than watching the school principal roll up his or her sleeves and start scooping the ice cream for each student’s make your own sundae? I’m sorry but I just don’t think that “make your own salad” would provide quite the same effect.

Does that mean that it should happen every night? No, of course not, but aren’t kids allowed a chance to let loose and have some fun just as much as adults?

Shouldn’t we, as adults be trying to teach our kids about living life with a good, healthy balance? Shouldn’t we be teaching them to know their limits and find a way to live with a healthy attitude as well as a healthy diet?

Yes, I absolutely can not deny that there is a huge problem with childhood obesity in today’s society but is banning any and all high calorie foods at school events truly the answer?

What happens, then, when kids grow up and start living in the real world where decisions aren’t made for them? If we don’t provide them with coping skills and tools today how will they know what good decisions really are when they are on their own?

Shouldn’t educating kids as well as their parents about good health and good choices be our first priority? Isn’t it more important for kids to have three good, healthy meals each and every day than to worry about a cupcake or two on a special occasion?

I can’t lie. I have a reputation for being the mom who bakes and hands out “Wildcat Blue” cupcakes after sporting events on a regular basis. I have gotten quite a few thank you’s, a whole lot of smiles and, frankly, more satisfaction than you could imagine. 

Have I done harm to any of the kids that I’ve handed a cupcake to? I certainly hope not. I prefer to think that I’ve shown them that somebody cares enough to make them a special treat for a job well done. 

I do believe that Massachusetts lawmakers are trying to do the right thing. I simply, however, do not agree that banning high calorie foods on every occasion is the answer. I think that better education about fitness, nutrition and making good decisions for both parents and kids is the way to ensure long term success and wellbeing. 

jo May 08, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Infuriating! Bake Sales to raise funds for kids and schools- BAD! Gambling casinos (and all the seedy side of life that comes with it) to raise funds for the Commonwealth of MA- GOOD! What an upside-down state we live in! Not to mention the fact that I don't appreciate lawmakers legislating activities that fall OUTSIDE school hours either... what's next? Maybe they will tell the DeMoulas' what kinds of foods they can stock on their shelves at MB- after all, it's not good for our kids or our health, maybe we shouldn't be allowed to have access to sweets/sugar/salt/junk food/(insert your favorite vice here).... it's a slippery slope, so what's next?
Frank Irizarry May 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Christine, after taking a look at those wonderful Wildcat Blue cupcakes, if you'd like to bake some for the Wilmington U13 Lacrosse team, we'll be down at Woburn Street on Sunday :)
robert keith hopkins May 08, 2012 at 06:34 PM
What should the government do if not protect these ignorant people from themselves? Don't they know that the government knows what is best for them in all things?
Christine Berry MacKenzie May 08, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Thank you all for your feedback and your support! Frank - how, exactly, have you managed to miss out on the blue cupcakes at the Pop Warner field??
webmom May 09, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Banning treats, etc. is a knee jerk reaction by the government in their attempt to show they are addressing a serious problem. This won't help anyone, but it shows they are trying. It's dangerous legislation (because we know it won't work) because it is another instance of government creeping into our lives to tell us what to do/eat. It may sound silly but I keep thinking of '1984' where everyone was forced to exercise an hour a day and watched by the monitors in their house. People will get upset and forget about this, but then another law will be made and yet another 'creep' into our lives. Yes, obesity is a huge problem, caused by many factors..but for me, the lack of daily activity is the main issue (caused by our addiction to all our fancy technology). We can have sports, gym, recess, etc...but that won't help..it's the lack of EVERY DAY activity that is making everyone get larger. There are too many reasons to stay in and watch tv/blog/twitter/facebook rather than just go and take a casual stroll outside, and away from the kitchen. Next will probably come taxes on snacks, etc., or whatever government feels is unhealthy. The costs of obesity are high (medical costs to society, disability, etc.). Unfortunately there is a percentage of the population that doesn't care if they gain weight, sit at home and do nothing. How can you change that? For those that do care, it's easier, just go outside and walk...every day if you can, and if you have kids, take them with you.
webmom May 09, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Robert, this has always been one of my main criticisms of government intervention. I feel government should help the weak and helpless, not the ignorant. Big difference. There will always be a percentage of people, who, not by their choice or action, need government assistance/protection. Ignorance/stupidity should not be one of those. And I feel that government is helping the ignorant more now instead of the people who actually need it.

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