The Tyranny of Muffins

Happy Fake Birthday Kiddo! Hope you enjoy your carrots…

Today was the day we’ve been talking about all month…  Today was my youngest son’s fake birthday!

Now, for kids who have summer birthdays, fake birthdays are kinda awesome.  My son got to wear a spiffy crown all day and eat muffins.  So, he was pretty excited.  Plus, he gets to celebrate his birthday again in a couple of months.  And one of his classmates even brought in a card for him.  (What do you want to bet my son told her it was his real birthday, but I digress… Plus, my charming little angel would never do such a thing.)

I have no issue with fake birthdays since they make everyone happy.  However, I do have issues with the silly “healthy eating plan” that our elementary school loves to brag about.  In a nutshell, this program is dressed up food communism.  They don’t even allow cupcakes on birthdays!  Instead they suggest parents bring in “muffins or a healthy alternative”.  Well… if you’ve ever checked out the packaging, muffins have the exact same amount of sugar and calories as cupcakes; they just look a lot less festive.  (And mini-muffins have the exact same amount of sugar and calories as mini-cupcakes…)  So, it’s all just bureaucratic BS at its best, but every birthday we send in the muffins, and we all pretend that they’re super healthy.

For their everyday snacks, we typically comply with the program by sending in pretzels or granola bars.  However, we were informed by our five-year-old that his snacks “weren’t healthy enough”.  Then we started sending in carrots and apples.  Strangely enough, these would come back home untouched…  So we went back to sending in pretzels and granola bars.

Also, both of our sons were using the money in their lunch accounts to buy ice cream and cookies (in addition to lunch).  However, if we sent in any kind of candy or cookies in their lunch, we’d get a nasty note sent home to us from the teacher. Heck, my kid’s teachers have already convinced my son that pretzels were bad for him!  (For everyone nodding their head, and saying that carbs are the devil, they’re not, but we can argue about ketones another day.)

Halloween was the last straw.  Just like every other holiday since our sons started attending school, each of our them came home with a mountain of candy in their backpack.  (It’ so much that even with me eating it, it usually takes us until the next major holiday to finish it.)  Fed up with the school’s hypocrisy about “choosing healthy snacks”, I started sending them in with two pieces of candy each day.  It was the exact same candy they had brought home from school on Halloween.  On day two, I received the nasty note, stating that candy was NOT a healthy snack, and I needed to stop sending it.  Grrr.

And that is where most of the candy in our house comes from…  Oh, well, at least I don’t have fresh cupcakes sitting in the kitchen, taunting me…

What are birthdays like at your house?  Do you try to make them “healthy” or go for broke like we do?



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14 Responses to The Tyranny of Muffins

  1. Anjali says:

    We go all out on birthdays because my four-year-old loves to bake. But I have the opposite problem as you. Cookies are regularly served in his preschool, much to my dismay.

    • I remember that about preschool too, but now the worst foods they eat are the ones they buy from the school cafeteria! It’s too bad they can’t find some sort of middle ground where they aren’t eating junk food all the time, but where it’s allowable for special occasions and not a problem in small amounts.

      Thanks for stopping by and for you comment. 🙂

  2. El Guapo says:

    I hope you confront the school about their hypocrisy. That’s unbelievable.
    And thank you for the news that I can say I’m eating “healthy style” cupcakes – just as good as muffins!

    • Cupcakes get a bad rap! Muffins are probably worse for you since they’re usually gigantic. (Otherwise they really are about the same.)

      Their school is unlikely to change. Ironically enough, I wish they would ease up on the special occasions, but not sell ice cream to my kids on a daily basis! We tell them not to buy it, which works until we check online, and discover they “forgot” and started buying it again…

  3. paralaxvu says:

    Schools need to know it’s a two-way street. Besides, they’re always asking for parent input anyway. I think the next time you get a nasty note from the teacher you should send back one of your own…or at least a copy of this post;-)

    • It’s a funny thing trying to find the middle ground… And I don’t even think they realize how silly their “choose better snacks” program sounds in light of all the ice cream, chips, and cookies they sell in the cafeteria…

  4. ChrisP says:

    nice to know they can tell you how to parent your kid. Last time I checked your kids diet is your responsibility not some teachers.
    It’s a good thing I didn’t procreate I’d be the nastiest parent out there if I got notes like that sent home with my child
    I’m glad I’m not allowed to curse here cuz I seriously wanna after hearing that crap

    Oh i’ve pretty much never done healthy for any day including birthdays..I’m amazed I’m still breathing. It’s probably because I’m pickled form all the preservatives in the crap I eat 😀

    • We kinda go by the general rule of “If you eat it on a holiday or at a restaurant, it doesn’t count.” I actually tell my kids they’re not allowed to buy ice cream or potato chips with their lunch money, but inevitably they “forget” and start doing it again after a few weeks…

      It absolutely screams nanny state, but it’s becoming more common all over the place, other people regulating what your kids eat. (I figured describing it as food communism was probably strong enough though.) We never go head to head with anyone at our sons’ school because our oldest kid gets a lot of services, and most of those services are paid for by the district. So, when we go in, we are intent on greasing the wheels. Lots of small talk, make ’em chuckle, and than talk about what’s going on at home, and ask for more services…

      I think you can curse here. I doubt they screen comments all that carefully. Technically I can too, but it supposedly ruins all chances of ever being “freshly pressed”.

  5. haphillips says:

    My wife is a teacher and pretty much a badass, and she would love your kids! Anyways, birthdays at the Phillips household, specifically, Whitney’s are to be treated as national holidays. God have mercy on the man who doesn’t go all out with respect to Whitney Day. PS. I freaking love baked goods!!

  6. We’re at the other end of the spectrum. The head of Nutrition Services for our school district has talked openly about thinking that all this stuff about “healthy food” is ridiculous. He considers corn dogs to be a sufficient fulfillment of the “vegetable” requirement. Not kidding.

  7. You sound like a very fun mom. 😀 I would be royally pissed about having a school district, or anyone else besides me regulating what my kids ate. And you’re right—muffins are basically giant cupcakes without frosting in terms of nutrition value.

    Birthdays for me involve Carvel cake because that’s my favorite. I love to bake, though, so for Mr. Weebles I always bake whatever cake he wants–usually chocolate.

    • Yeah, it’s that more than anything… but also that none of it makes a lick of sense! I don’t think my kids teachers actually invented the policy, just that it’s kinda dumb…

      Your hubby is a lucky guy! I never bake for my hubby anymore. Poor guy. I can’t even remember the last time I made a cake!

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