Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bake Sales Banned in NYC Schools

(New York Times Summary)

For most kids, 'fundraisers' and bake sales go hand in hand. Kids can get creative in the kitchen, raise lots of cash, and satisfy their sweet tooth at the same time! Heck, even the Nutrition Students' Union at Ryerson University here in Toronto is holding a bake sale in the coming weeks! Well, unfortunately for kids in NYC, cookies won't be found on the fundraising menu. Not even zucchini bread. That's because bake sales have been
banned! Can you imagine?

The Department of Education, in an effort to improve the way school-kids eat, and to decrease the prevalence of overweight and obesity in kids, has issued a 3-page memo limiting the types of snacks that can be sold in schools. This includes vending machines and student-run endeavours and even the hours during which certain foods can be sold.

NYC is definitely on the forefront of promoting healthy eating by not only banning trans fats from restaurants, but they also require the posting of nutritional information on menus. And now they're banning bake sales? While I respect and appreciate the efforts that are being taken in preventing overweight and obesity in the 'greatest city in the world', does anyone really think that such measures will discourage citizens from indulging from time to time? I don't think it's any secret that, nutritional info posted or not, frequent restaurant goers aren't going out for a 'healthy' or low-cal meal. And so what if kids can't sell cupcakes - they can still get them just about
anywhere, especially in NYC (they have some amazing gourmet cupcake establishments).

According to Eric Goldstein, the chief of the office of school support services, “During the school day, we have to focus on what is healthy for the mind and the body.” Well, I guess that's reason enough for me.

Check out the details in the article "A Crackdown on Bake Sales in City Schools" from the New York Times (Oct 2, 2009).