Birthday Cake Ban

Reporter: Graeme Butler

Cakes and birthday's go together like peas in a pod, but not at Campbell primary school in Canning Vale - birthday cakes have been banned. Peter says "in consultation with parents it was taken the line was taken that we would actually say no birthday cakes" Until now when a child celebrated a birthday at school, mum or dad could send along a cake or treat for the class - but not anymore, school principal Peter Glendening says - it's not about banning birthdays The reason for the ban is to avoid foods that can cause allergies, like nuts and dairy, and to promote healthy eating at the school - it's applauded by some parents, others aren't so sure a birthday cake's so bad.

There are around 800 children at the school and that's a lot of cakes.. cutting them up and dishing them out also takes up time, but according to the principal the main reason for ban is getting rid of cakes and sweets from the school. "It covers things like what we can use for rewards for students and the policy is quite specific that we don't use lollies for classroom rewards so immediately we've implemented that so again we're promoting other alternatives for classroom rewards being stickers being time being use of resources and different activities that can be used as positive rewards"

The cake ban is not an education department order - it's decided by individual schools.. "look, there's good and bad birthday cakes aren't there?" Robin Bromley from the W.A school canteen association says birthday cakes in themselves aren't necessarily bad - but parents should think twice about what they send to schools for other kids to eat. "Well cupcakes with you know not too much icing all over them the same fruit muffins; some children actually prefer things like that. um just a plain chocolate cake with minimal icing for many children having" Peter Glendening says "I would hope kids come to school because they want to come to school rather than come to school because they're going to get a birthday cake or a chocolate frog from the teacher"

For further school food guidelines check out the following website

http://www.det.wa.edu.au/healthyfoodanddrink/