Primary school bans students from including candy canes and similar treats with their Christmas cards.

Last Christmas we shared that a Tasmanian Primary School announced a new healthy eating policy on its school association Facebook page.

Under the policy, birthday cakes would also be banned from next year in favour of healthy options.

Reactions at the school have been mixed. Parents have shared their dismay on the post including “I can’t understand this either, the kids get so much fun from these 2 occasions and generally we are all healthy active families so I think candy canes at Xmas and a cupcake on a classmates birthday are a wonderful part of being in primary school!”

The Education Department has distanced itself from the decision.

It said its policy Move Well, Eat Well encouraged the wider school community to support limiting “occasional” foods.

In a statement, the state’s Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff urged the school to reconsider, reports ABC.

“Christmas comes once a year as do children’s birthdays, so while I appreciate the importance of a balanced healthy diet, I urge the school association to use some common sense and reconsider,” Mr Rockliff said.

The Bellerive Primary School Association and the school’s principal declined to comment.

Tasmania School Canteen Association executive officer Julie Dunbabbin said she believed eventually all schools would ban confectionary.

She said many schools were trying to address the issue of children being exposed to too many cakes due to classmates birthdays.

She said cakes could be healthy if baked the right way.

“We certainly promote the more healthier version, the ones with less sugar and saturated fat,” she said.


This comes as no surprise to me at all. Our school banned candy canes and lollies for the past two years at least. Today we received a reminder of the fact that cards are welcome but no lollies should be included.

Cakes and other treats is generally a decision made by each class teacher.


UPDATE November 2017 – The candy cane debate continues!

This year Branyon Road State School in Bundaberg, Queensland, sent text messages to parents on Wednesday, informing them the striped sweets would no longer be allowed, News Mail reports.

School Principal Geoff Fitzgerald said that the practice had ‘nothing to do with Christmas’ and was about protecting the health of the children.

‘We are seeing children with them first thing in the morning walking around with five, six or seven in their hand,’ he told News Corp.

‘Children are eating them for breakfast and that’s not ideal.’

A Queensland Department of Education spokesperson said there was no departmental policy regarding students handing out candy canes.

This follows a call to ban reindeers at Christmas festivities and a warning to parents to stop pretending Santa Claus is real in case the “lie” damages the relationship between parent and child.

Does your school still allow candy canes at Christmas?

Share your comments below.

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  • That is silly! The kids love that time of year and giving cards & candy canes. If the parents don’t want their children to eat them then through them out but the school shouldn’t ban them!


  • I don’t think it should be banned but isn’t this a great way for the school to show the kids how to make something else to celebrate?


  • I honestly can’t see that this once a year treat should be banned – talk about taking the fun out of Christmas – Ho Ho Ho not!


  • We are having Candy Canes whether it’s banned or not at our kids school, it’s part of Christmas and it only comes around once a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • I’d ban them because we’ve had kds stealing others’ cards to get the candy canes!

    • I am shocked – that is truly horrible – especially at Christmas time. :(


  • If my kids were still at school and they wanted to give candy canes, or similar confectionary, as Xmas gifts ild leg them. Banned or not!


  • Christmas and Birthday celebrations are not every day events and surely candy canes and birthdays cakes are treat foods for celebrations and not every day foods. It is important to celebrate special days which does include treat foods. Birthday cakes and other treats bring such joy and the bigger picture is children and adults celebrating, giving, sharing and being part of a group. I am not keen on the banning and policing of foods. Teaching children about balance with food and diet and health and well being seems like a sensible approach to me.


  • So far the only restrictions at my daughters school on treats on special occasions are to do with food allergies. This year they have gone nut, egg & fish free due to anaphylactic pupils – mind I’m not sure anyone would bring fish for a treat :)


  • Yes they have been banned at the kindy my youngest go to. This does not stop them from having them. It is good in a way as one of my children has to be careful what she eats. As for others it is just taking away the fun of the season. When I went to school in the late 60’s lollies were banned at school and if found with them, they were taken off us. This was a public school in NSW.


  • surely they would have had breakfast before going to school! – this really is just taking things way too far – it’s once a year with the candy canes, it’s in the giving spirit. They don’t even have to be full size ones, my girls quite often get the mini ones in cards – Long Live The Candy Cane at Christmas!!!!


  • Surely that could just ban eating them at school and they can still hand out cards with candy canes and leave it up to the parents when they get home?


  • If they go on like this, soon they will be banned from all schools in Australia. :-(


  • I agree they are a nice treat but if they are given too many it could lead to medical issues. How many children will say, “no thank you” because they have diabetes, coelic disease or another medical condtion. Very few lollies are sugar free that don’t have artificial sweeteners wich cause medical problems.
    For children with wheat intolerance or worse still Coelic Disease a lot of lollies including chocolates contain wheat ( barley, rye or oats – Coelics can’t have any of them. To a Coelic Person they are like poisoning a person with a damaged section of their bowel. It varies from hours to days of symptons (pains, bloating, vomitting, nausea, bowel issues and a variety of others) before it subsides. It can be as simple as the product being made on a machine used to produce products with gluten in them.


  • I think it’s sad that they are stopping something that brings a little happiness to children, we are trying to teach our children the gift of giving and they are telling them what they can and can’t give it’s just so sad


  • My daughter is now in high school, but in primary school there were no restrictions about candy canes or other treats.


  • I disagree a bit of candy at Christmas is no harm at all!


  • What a sensible school. Candy canes have no purpose other than to rot kids teeth. I never let my kids eat them when they brought them home from school.


  • Great move ! Wish our school banned it, especially since one of my kids has soft decay and she is brought every time into a huge temptation…


  • They are taking away all the fun out of being a kid – a little treat every now and then does not hurt them. Its only when you give them sweets all the time then it is not a good idea


  • any dietician will tell you that any balanced diet contains some sweets as a little treat


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