New Hampshire committee votes to limit school birthday parties to once a month

Published May 15, 2013


A New Hampshire school board, concerned about students consuming unhealthy sugary treats, voted Tuesday to encourage teachers to only celebrate one ‘group’ birthday party each month, The Union Leader reported.

"If there were three birthdays in a week, a student could have cupcakes three times," Sue Sheehy, the district's consultant dietitian told the paper. "That's why we’re encouraging one birthday for kids in a month."

The only Manchester School Board member to oppose the birthday limit said she disagrees with the board playing "food police."

"I don't want to hear that can't happen," Debra Gagnon Langton, a sixth-grade teacher in another district, told the paper "It's a child's special day."

Langton told that the board should be focused on education. She said she is the only school board member who works as an educator and blames childhood obesity largely on inactivity.

"Kids don't bike ride to their friend's house or play pick-up games anymore," she said. 

The report points out that under the new guidelines, holiday parties would be limited to once a month, unless the snacks are healthy.

There were reportedly other minor changes to the district's "wellness and nutrition policy."

The policy change will now head to the full school board for approval.

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