Should Bake Sales Be Banned?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
School groups are always trying to raise money to support their activities. Tougher economic times and tightened school budgets make fundraising from candy sales or bake sales commonplace. My daughter did her fair share of making delicious puppy chow for lunchtime sales to support the National Honor Society. Our son has sold scores of candy bars to benefit the band.
In an attempt to formulate new school nutrition regulations, state health officials in Massachusetts recently took some heat for their proposed ban on bake sales. Legislation set to go into effect in August would prohibit selling sweets in school during the day as well as immediately before and after the school day. After an outcry of concern with the impact the legislation would have on fundraising efforts, Massachusetts state officials backpedaled on the bake sale ban. This is not the first state to try to tighten up control on sweets in school. Back in 2010, a school district in Michigan banned cupcakes for school celebrations.This recent potential ban caused many to ask if bake sales should be banned.
But what if they were turned into educational opportunities?

School bake sales could provide the perfect chance for families to practice making healthier alternatives while also raising funds for school groups. Schools could even award prizes for the best tasting, most nutritious baked good entries. As families begin making sweet tasting treats incorporating smart ingredient substitutions, they learn healthy habits for their home use as well. Perhaps all that the dreaded bake sale needs is 14 clever ideas for healthier baked goods for light baking done right and some friendly competition to turn healthier school bake sales into a new fad.
Here are six healthier bake sale options we love.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Whole Wheat Oat Pumpkin Muffins
Granola Breakfast Bars
Chef Meg's Whole Wheat Pretzels
Chef Meg's Oatmeal Orange Cookies
Stepf's High Fiber Brownies

What healthier sweet alternative would you recommend for a school bake sale?

Should school bake sales be banned?

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LRJUSTUS1 7/22/2017
I personally don't think they should be banned...however, having said that..I donate money & leave the treats there. Why? Not everyone has the same kitchen hygiene standards...there have been some terrible cases of food poisoning & general food contamination that I want no part of. Report
MISSA526 7/22/2017
Ridiculous to ban bake sales! Let people make their own decisions!! Free will should not be snuffed out ove cupcakes! Report
MISSA526 7/22/2017
Ridiculous to ban bake sales! Let people make their own decisions!! Free will should not be snuffed out ove cupcakes! Report
JUDY1676 6/25/2017
Interesting controversy! Report
AZMOMXTWO 6/25/2017
no it is a personal choice to buy from one and to consume it if you do buy it Report
GINGERMACC 6/22/2017
No, they shouldn't be banned. Aren't they voluntary? It's definitely voluntary to buy something at a bake sale. Report
It's not just the empty calories. Many of the students do not come from the cleanest of homes. I won't even eat anything prepared in the FACS class. I've seen students use the palm of their hands to wipe a dripping nose and then return to preparing whatever was on the agenda for the class. Germs and fat..two very good reasons to pass on the bake sales. Report
Stunning article and I can't even believe this is a topic. First of all, if I'm going to splurge on the occasional baked good, I'd rather buy it homemade from a bake sale, where the item is probably better for you than buying it from the store with all of those preservatives in it. Second, it's not like anyone is forcing people to buy anything. If you don't want to partake, then don't. Finally, if you buy something, regulate how much your kids (or you) have. Don't eat the whole cake or 25 cookies, everything is ok in moderation. But what we *don't* need is a bunch of bureaucrats telling us how to live (again). Report
I agree that it is stupid to ban bake sales. It is NOT the occasional bake sale that causes obesity, it is the fact we stuff our faces daily with fried goods, baked items and surgery sweets and drinks. I love bake sales and enjoy supporting my local kiddos. I normally buy the items and share. Report
How stupid to ban a bake sale. Why not just have a sale that includes both lovely bake sale treats and healthy alternatives. Children can have occasional treats. Learning moderation will do Children more good in the long run than banning foods from their diets. Nothing is forbidden, why create these silly taboos around food. Healthy Habits start in the home in my opinion. Report
Silliest thing I have ever heard -- so what if bake sales are banned when unhealthy food can be bought anywhere -- Banning bake sales will not make people eat better. Report
For Heaven's sake, get the government out of our hair! Bake Sales have always been a popular way for groups to raise funds for special projects (band uniforms, books, even sending World War II veterans on Honor Flights). The bureaucrats in Washington and in our state governments apparently feel they must justify their jobs by implementing ridiculous rules and laws. Government, LEAVE US ALONE! Report
Isn't this the land of the free? Maybe they should start selling salads. Baked goods CAN be part of a healthy diet if eaten in moderation. Children emulate their parents and are at the mercy of the adults who provide their food. Good eating habits should be taught at home from the time a child is a toddler. When something is banned, it becomes more enticing. Report
No, don"t ban bake sales! This is a chance for people to bring in healthier baked goods and make an impact on the 'Lets buy something at the store and bring that" crowd which is growing in numbers. Report
Absurd. Period. Report
I don't think bake sales are the problem. Have you seen the food they serve at lunch?! That is much more atrocious than an occasional bake sale! And it's served on a daily basis! There is pizza in the lunch room every day served with super sugary flavored milks. On top of that the children are not educated or encouraged by the school to eat healthily. So I don't think that the bake sales that are occasionally held to fund raise are to blame. It is the poor food and health education they receive on top of no reinforcement of the ideas by the food they offer at lunch and even breakfast or in the vending machines. Report
I think the government has its hand in way too much of our lives. The reason I am overweight is because I eat unhealthy foods and don't exercise. Taking care of my health should be my responsibility and it should be the responsibility of the parents to teach their children about proper nutrition.

We can't complain about government taking too much control when we sit around and let them do it. I do not think bake sales should be banned. Report
Is that the purpose of our goverment.....babysitting a totally mindless, infantile society? Or do we have the right to take responsibility for our own actions and choose to have a bake sale cookie on occasion! Report
I don't think that bake sales should be banned. It should be ok for kids to have treats every now and then. I also like the idea of having healthier options at the bake sales. Report
Good grief! How can we complain about big government and then ask authorities to regulate every aspect of our lives? Personal responsibility, anyone? Report
"Schools could even award prizes for the best tasting, most nutritious baked good entries."

Brilliant. Report
No bake sales should not be banned. Too many on our privileges are being taken away!!! Report
Many answers on this one. I do not think bake sales should be banned. As mentioned, baked things could made in a healthy way. Schools are hard-pressed to keep many programs going. I do think school lunch programs could be made alot more healthy. The kids can't eat the unhealthy foods if they aren't on the menu. Better yet, bring their own lunches. Report
No bake sales should not be banned. Definately offer healthier options. Baked good made with veggies like zucchini chocolate chip muffins or muffins mare wiith applesauce instead of oil.

Teach them they will bake. Report
As a teacher, I have really mixed feelings about bake sales. One one hand, I remember them from my childhood, and think that they are kind of a wholesome, traditional activity that should be maintained. One the other hand, I get tired of students being twenty minutes late to class because they were cleaning up from the bake sale, or counting money. And I get tired of kids getting wired on sugary treats during lunch and then crashing about 1:30 and being lethargic the rest of the day.

Some schools do yearly candy drives or bake sales for specific occasions, and I have not real problem with that, but I have also worked in schools where there was literally some sort of sale going on every week, and it was a distraction. Report
I wish they would band Ince-Cream-Thursdays and Bring-in-left-over-cake- and-doughnuts-Mondays at work. It would make my life a lot easier. I literally have a junk food addiction (aka sugar addiction) b/c once I start... I cant stop. It takes every ounce of willpower I have to not eat this crap and then if I break down and eat everything in sight... the detox is a nightmare as well. People have to learn for themselves no to eat this crap... you can't just fix it for them. It'll never work. Report
It's just one more attempt for Big Brother and the Bleeding Hearts to chip away at the fabric of our society. Family values are at a decline and anything that is connected with Americanism and choice. The vary foundation which our country fought for and bled for. Leave the parents and children alone. At bake sales it's usually the parents purchasing to support the kids. Should we next tell the parents they can't eat it either. Stop dictating to us as if we were the children. Use the lottery moneys for what they were meant for and give us back our sport, art, and music. In the end it's not about food at's about government control. It was not voted on by the people. I came from Massachusetts where this started and I say the political machines behind this need to be voted out. Massachusetts fight back! Report
No bake sale should not be banned. Or cookie sales, candy sales. All the food items kids and parents have to sell to help fund the school programs.
Lets get PE back in schools. Stop the fast food in schools. Address the food being served.
Educate the parents about having healthy meals at home. There should be classes for parents.
And stop blaming obesity on the inability to afford healthy foods. Everyone can eat healthy if they want too. It cost no more to eat healthy , in fact you save money by cooking at home instead fast food and junk food. Report
All in moderation!!! No one said you had to buy AND eat the whole lot of the bake sale or even a bunch. Buy one goody and support the cause. Take a nibble or two with your dinner and eat healthy otherwise.

Good grief!!

rumbamel Report
I wonder what these people's parents were like. Did these state officials grow up in households without homemade cookies, so they have some urgent need to deprive everyone of homemade cookies? These people need to get a life. Report
Two words. Nanny state. Report
Absolutely not. We can have a bake sale where the goodies can be nutricious. Let's get reasonable folks! Report
Absolutely not. We can have a bake sale where the goodies can be nutricious. Let's get reasonable folks! Report
Amen to serendipityfrog--- I'll add my own "Grrrr"...
I once sent decorated cupcakes to my son's class as a Valentine surprise. The teacher was not only ungrateful, but she was mean and nasty over this "gift."
( Note: She was mean on a daily basis, however ) Report
No...banning bake sales is not the right answer but encouraging healthier versions is better idea. Keeping health changes as a positive experience is always a better idea. Report
... Absolutely not! Remember when we tried to ban alcohol? People would be holding 'underground' bake sales in their basements, giving whole new meanings to the phrases "You got the stuff?" and "When's your next shipment?"

Let's be serious, people! Just because you can't practice self-control doesn't mean everybody else should suffer. Personally, I love to bake for my office, but I don't enjoy eating the sweets myself. There's a joy that comes from providing treats to people who want them! Not everyone is on SparkPeople or trying to live a healthy way of life - although it's nice for us to 'spread the spark,' it's not fair for us to 'shove the spark down the throats' of the unwilling! Plus, treats in moderation are perfectly fine! Enjoying one cookie or cupcake, especially in order to support a local organization, isn't going to ruin your diet. And if it is - and you're scared you'll spiral out of control - buy a treat for a friend or family member instead! Report
Bake sales have been around since the dawn of man (granted the goodies have greatly improved since then) :) They are a great fundraiser and having a bake sale doesn't mean you are enabling someone to eat in excess. Sooner or later, people have to realize that we fought long and hard for freedom to do things and when others start to 'ban' them because of their own personal views, it diminishes the achievements and progress made.

Enough is enough. Life is nothing without its small moments of happiness. Report
If we start banning bake sales....what's next!? How about some self control and education for those that are less than healthy. Report
You do not even know how much of a "wow" factor this was for me. My son's school and band just had a meeting last week and sent out the "Fundraising" schedule for next year. I was annoyed with it! Everything was "show up and help out"... I wrote back with 'whatever happened to Bake Sales? No one ever does them any more!! The PTO sells junk foods at the games. Why can we not do bake sales at lunch time, one day a week...?"

They will get back to me on that. LOL -- I am a baker by heart. I love to bake things and send them into school with my kids.

This year I couldn't send anything in with my 2nd grader because there were so many food allergies in the classroom, and anything I sent in, would not be allowed to be eaten at school. They'd have to take it home. GRRR! I pride myself on making sure kids can have SOMETHING I make... SO I go out of my way to find treatsies that the kids with allergies CAN have. I went and spent $60 on cake & brownie mixes for the 3 children who had WHEAT allergies. I already do not use any nuts in school baking because of the huge nut allergies out there. So, after spending all that money, the teacher told me that anything I bake, has to have the ingredients list from the side panel of ALL the ingredients I used. SERIOUSLY??!! And then it still will not be eaten at school. It would still be sent home with the children ((and we all know kids do NOT listen to adults... If there is food in their bags, they ARE going to eat it on the bus!!)) So I chose to not make any of it. And there it sits in my cabinet. Untouched. I might make them and give to my family. LOL See how they like Potato flour and such. hehe!!

PS - My 'band' son is in high school. High Schoolers know what they should and should not eat if they have allergies. And they'd know what would happen if they did eat something they were allergic to.

AND - I still bake my Monster Cookies (Cookies for Mommy's lil Monsters) for the teacher staff. I have 1 teacher who would cry if I stopped making those for them. LOL!!! Report
I do like the idea of healthful baked goods, as there are many luscious things that can be made and baked for such sales. And it would be a great learning opportunity for the group having the fundraiser if they were asked to find and share healthy alternatives for their sale. Report
I agree with several other posts - it's not the bake sales that are making children overweight. Bake sales usually are a great way to earn extra money for school projects and I think that politics should stay out of it. Take a better look at school lunch menus, provide more funding for healthier lunches, etc. Report
Someone could make a tasty homemade bread for the kids to have in their healthy homemade sandwich. Report
I have to admit that I dread bake sales, cookie dough sales, candy sales etc. I don't want to bring more sweets into my house. But they shouldn't be banned. Bake sales used to be fun because people didn't eat goodies all the time. They were a treat at birthdays and special times. The problem isn't the occasional bake sale. It is that the baked goods have become the norm for many people. With sugar so cheap and fruits and vegetables so expensive we tend toward the inexpensive baked goods TOO frequently. Sweets need to go back to being a treat that we indulge in on special occasions. If schools want to improve the health of students, banning bake sales won't make one iota of difference. Gym classes that are FUN need to be taught everyday. AND they need to get all the over-processed foods out of school lunch. Chicken nuggets, corn dogs, pizza, canned peaches, and such are each served WEEKLY at my child's school. They claim they are nutritionally balanced but it is simply teaching kids to eat processed foods daily. Those items should also be eaten only occasionally as a treat at the ball game or something like that. Report
Heck no! I support treats in moderation, so yes, I love occasional bake sales, especially because parents could at least exercise control over ingredients, I do wish school administrators would take a hard look at what they make available in their lunch lines on a daily basis. My 5th-grade daughter brings her own lunch, but she tells me about what her classmates buy when their parents give them free reign and a handful of money, and I've seen it. You can tell them all day to focus on fruits and veggies and why and how much and what not, but as we can see here in the comments alone, people revel in being able to eat whatever they want. I've seen the lunch lines at my Kiddo's school, and if they have just enough to buy either an apple or a candy bar, they went for the candy bar. Then wash it down with chocolate milk instead of plain. At my kiddo's school, their weekly fund-raiser is to sell even more candy and other junk food every Friday--no homemade treats allowed. Report
Sounds great in theory, but where I'm from all goods sold at bake sales have to be store bought (for safety concerns). Report
It's not the bake sales at school that are making us fat, it's not that easy. How about the schools took away PE, kids are in front of the TV or computers more than counter parts in the day when I was in school, there was not a fast food place on every street corner (it was gas stations just car stuff no food or drinks) Also more people cooked instead of picking up dinner or using frozen dinners. Report
When I saw the title here, I thought of something completely different. With the higher incidence of peanut/nut, wheat and other food allergies, I know some places have decided to not have bake sales. Even a whiff of peanuts can cause serious allergic reaction to those highly sensitive. Even when a recipe or list of ingredients is provided, you may still not know whether any of the ingredients themselves were prepared in a place where known allergans were also present.
And there are many schools where bringing homemade foods are not allowed. Food allergies or sensitivities aside, there can be the question of how safely an item was prepared, whether it was appropriately baked, stored, etc.
Ah, for my childhood days...:) Report
Yes! Let's ban a one-day-a-year bake sale! The one cookie my child will buy and eat is going to cause obesity! Instead of worrying about the fund raisers, why can't we worry about making healthy foods less expensive, so everyone can afford them? Childhood obesity isn't because of bake sales, it's because working parents can't always afford fresh, healthy food, and only purchase what they can afford. It's because school lunches are gross. Instead of creating more rules and laws that are a waste of time, let's actually address the real issues. WOW! What a concept! Report
Well, then let's go ahead and illegalize desserts at restaurants and box cake and other dessert type items at grocery stores, not to mention the store bakery or any of those other bakeries....sure, let's ban them all. Sarcasm.

I am NOT in favor of the government exerting any more control than they already do. Report
Banning bake sales will not fix the obesity problem. People should learn to have treats in moderation. I think the focus should be on meals. Breakfast programs would be a good way to insure all children start the day off right. Also at my children's school a lot of kids will throw away their healthy part of their lunches and eat the unhealthy snacks parents added or they swapped for. I think in that case supervision would be better and also some sort of reward/incentive system put in place for kids to choose healthy foods. Our school also has a snack basket provided by the school board in each classroom. It has fruit and vegetables for any child to take as a fuel break. This is done so that the kids who come from low income are not singled out. Its incredible I have handed out both baked goods and fruit, and the kids inhale the fruit! They say they never have any at home. Report
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