Get a grip

The once ubiquitous cupcake, iced to perfection and colorfully sprinkled, may be slowly fading from the school landscape nationwide, reports the Chicago Tribune. To fight rising rates of childhood obesity and a surge in allergies, school districts last year were required to come up with strict wellness policies in school cafeterias and vending machines banning "junk food" from kindergarten-to-high school. Not content to ban salty snacks and soda, school boards are now also banning sweet caloric treats such as cookies and cupcakes during classroom parties, bake sales and holiday celebrations. Instead, they are touting cheese and crackers, dried fruits, low-fat puddings or cookie shaped wheat bread, iced with low-fat cream cheese and decorated with sliced veggies such as shredded carrots, mini-broccoli or cut up red peppers. Yuck, I'm all for healthier (and especially tastier) school foods, but get a grip. What is it about the American penchant to take a good general concept and drive it to ridiculous extremes? Parents, school boards and crusaders in the health community need to get a grip. Maybe we don't want our kids eating cookies and cupcakes every day, but good tasting food is an important part of the holiday experience. No wonder kids are depressed. Perhaps they know that if Santa finds red pepper-topped wheat bread instead of delicious cookies on the mantle, he'll take those presents and go back up the chimney in disgust.

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