We’ve heard of the lunch box police. But now the cake police is out in full force and some parents are not happy (although the anti-sugar brigade is celebrating!).

We know that more and more schools are jumping onto the no packaged snacks / zero treats bandwagon and most parents are not amused. Seriously, don’t we have enough to think about with Jimmy’s melt-downs and Johnny’s mound of homework to now start worrying that our kids’ lunchboxes will be ransacked by gung-ho so-called ‘healthy’ school policies.

Banning Birthday Cakes AND Icing

I almost had my own temper tantrum when our pre-school told me that they’re banning icing on birthday cakes. Plus the cake had to be ‘nutritious’ – no sugar, no taste and no icing, and certainly no colourants, were allowed. Oh.my.goodness! What’s a birthday cake without fluorescent pink frosting? It’s my child’s special day once a year and so what if the kids get a slice of cake 20 times over the year (one cake for each child in their class). That’s 20 slices of cake spread over 365 days. Is it really that big a deal? These dumb policies literally suck the fun and the flavour out of any special occasion. And don’t tell me that the teachers don’t celebrate their birthdays with a fat slice or two of sugar-laden, buttercream-slathered, ‘real’ cake. Hypocritical and ridiculous. We should be teaching our kids that healthy eating is all about balance, and that includes enjoying a piece of cake WITH icing on their birthday.

COVID Cancels Cakes

I completely understand that COVID has influenced the cake policy in many schools. I used to spend hours baking and frosting enough cupcakes to feed a class to celebrate my child’s birthday. But last year everything changed and we weren’t allowed to bring in any homebaked goodies. Instead, I bought a box of individually wrapped mini chocolates and my daughter handed these out. Easiest birthday ever.

However, whilst virus restrictions have relaxed in most places, schools are holding tightly to that anti-cake policy.


Allergy Concerns

Cake bans are not new but the reasons for them have evolved over time. Two years ago, we reported that St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, in Campbelltown, Sydney had advised parents that birthday cakes, slices, doughnuts, biscuits and similar foods will no longer be permitted to be brought to school and given to children to celebrate birthdays and other events.

They said that this was to protect children who were severely allergic to such foods, particularly those that contained nuts and eggs.

Instead, it was suggested parents could buy an ‘ice block’ for each child in the class in lieu of celebrating with a cake.

Threats To Healthy Eating

But now, schools are banning cakes due to health reasons.

Wollondilly Anglican College in the Wollondilly Shire in South West Sydney, has placed a blanket ban on birthday cakes.

Pastoral care coordinator Lisa Maher said there was too many “birthday treats” bought to school, which then threatened the school’s healthy eating policy, as reported in Yahoo! News.

Too Much Cake (Gosh, Is There Really Such a Thing?)

“Birthdays are special and many children love sharing their special day by bringing in a cake or treats to share with their classmates at the college,” she wrote in a school newsletter

“While this is a lovely gesture, the number of birthday treats coming into the college each day is causing concern.

“Most weeks see a birthday or two from each class, sometimes several on one day. This makes it difficult to promote our healthy eating policy amongst the junior years.”

“Students will no longer be able to bring class cakes or birthday treats to school. Teachers will ensure your child’s birthday does not go unnoticed and they are made to feel special on this important day,” she said.

She also noted that bringing birthday treats was placing some parents under “additional stress” who may not have the time or budget for this extra expense.

Boy sitting near a birthday cake at home

Birthday Bucket

Greta Primary School in the NSW Hunter Region has also banned cakes, encouraging parents to buy a box of icy poles from the canteen as a “Birthday Bucket”.

Manly Village Public School has also asked parents to go down the ice block route for birthday celebrations and two schools in Newcastle (New Lambton South Public school and Bishop Tyrell Anglican College) have also said a big No-no to birthday cake.

School’s Choice To Be Anti-Cake

The NSW Department of Education said that it is up to each school to determine its own policy on outside food.

“This is managed on a school-by-school basis, where each individual school determines and implements the necessary risk management processes for their school based on the needs and circumstances of their student population – a strategy similarly implemented by a number of schools across the state,” the Department of Education spokesperson said.

What do you think of this business of schools banning birthday cakes? Good, bad, crazy, don’t care? Tell us in the comments below.

  • I’m not particularly fussed about it. The ice blocks sound like a great idea, and kids still get to celebrate and feel special. Keep the cake for at home and with family and friends instead.


  • This is making it so much more complicated and our preschool allows it and currently there are no children with any allergies so I could bake like I normally do.


  • Yes and no
    It’s a hard one, kids love it though.


  • I can see it from both sides, seems unfair to the child but they can have a party with a cake outside of school, or their parent can send in a cupcake in their lunch. When I was in school I don’t remember people bringing in anything for their birthdays so it doesn’t seem too big of a deal to go without.


  • I remember taking cupcakes to school for my daughter’s birthday and the children’s faces would light up with delight. I’d make enough for some of the teachers as well and would get lots of compliments at the end of the day when I’d pick my daughter up from school. I don’t think it matters what the treat is so long as everyone is happy and enjoys the birthday celebration.


  • Anti-cake is fine in my opinion but it’s clear where the author stands of this issue lol


  • So many things are changing these days but I think the love of sharing a beautiful birthday cake will always be there.


  • I’m happy with the ban . My youngest has Down syndrome, she has a diary and gluten intolerance and gets upset when she misses out on what’s brought in and doesn’t understand why.


  • This is becoming a joke. We usually just bring in cupcakes as it’s easier.


  • Food allergies have become much more known now than what they ever were when all us parents were kids. Parents now are more concerned about what people they don’t know are feeding their kids, and I actually completely get that.
    If you want your kid to feel special on their birthday, then let them have the day off school. That will be more exciting for them than sending them to school with a cake.
    I don’t think it’s fair sending a cake to school and some kids miss out because they have a food allergy which they can’t control. Speaking from experience, it’s not fun sitting around watching everyone eat while you sit there with nothing. It sucks as an adult and it would be even worse as a kid.


  • My kids don’t like cake anyway! ???? but I do think it’s starting to get out of hand.


  • I get the cake thing as we don’t want a child blowing the candle over the whole cake. But individual treats is nice. However I also understand maybe not all parents can bring in cakes for the class.


  • Is becoming a joke these days. A small cupcake each is such a wonderful thing for a child to share with the whole class


  • Ibthinkniys sad that that want to ban birthday cake at schools, my children always get so excited to celebrate with their classmates a by bringing in a cake to share with their peers.


  • So many rules these days


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