birthday cupcakes

A New Initiative to Get Junk Food Out of Classrooms

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 1, 2014

I’ve written a lot over the years (really, A LOT – see the Related Links below) about junk food in school classrooms, whether distributed by teachers as rewards for good behavior and academic performance or served as part of birthday or classroom celebrations. It’s important to note that these practices are not addressed by the new federal Smart Snacks in School […]


Food In the Classroom: Teachers Speak Out

by Bettina Elias Siegel on April 26, 2012

Yesterday’s manifesto against food in the classroom, which I pounded out at my keyboard in a fit of complete frustration and anger, has clearly resonated with a lot of people.  With three exceptions (two of which I couldn’t print because they contained such foul language), comments posted here and on Twitter and Facebook have uniformly […]


Sometimes I get a reader comment which merits a full post in response.  Such is the case with two comments (and later, a third) submitted by reader “bw1″ to last week’s cupcake post, “A Passionate Dad Defends the In-Class Birthday Treat, and I Respond.” In essence, bw1 feels it’s my job to instill in my […]


A Passionate Dad Defends In-Class Birthday Treats, And I Respond

by Bettina Elias Siegel on February 22, 2012

New readers find The Lunch Tray almost every single day with a Google search for healthful and/or non-food alternatives to sugary classroom birthday treats.  The search takes them to “A Happy Ending to the Classroom Birthday Treat Dilemma,” in which I describe how my daughter (then in 5th grade) deliberated over many reader suggestions for […]


A Soccer Mom After My Own Heart

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 10, 2011

I meant to post this a few days ago when it first came out:  a fantastic guest blog post on Fooducate by a self-described “soccer mom” taking on the junk food snacks regularly served at her kids’ practices and games. It was written by Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, of Real Mom Nutrition, and if you close your […]


Lunch Tray Friday Buffet: June 10, 2011

by Bettina Elias Siegel on June 10, 2011

Just a few tidbits to round out the week. . . . Scoring Baked Goods in a Back Alley TLT readers know my feelings about birthday cupcakes in school classrooms (hint: not a fan) but if you do decide to provide cupcakes for your kid, you’ll appreciate this humor piece from Maraya Goyer Steadman.  Forget […]

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A Happy Ending to the Classroom Birthday Treat Dilemma

by Bettina Elias Siegel on March 7, 2011

Last week I told you I was facing a difficult test of my principles.  On this blog (and elsewhere) I’ve come out strongly against sugary  birthday treats in the classroom, but my fifth-grade daughter really wanted to bring cupcakes or donuts to school for her birthday tomorrow. I sent out an SOS to Lunch Tray […]


Putting My Gelt Where My Mouth Is

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 7, 2010

My son asked me if I’d come talk to his third grade class about Hanukkah tomorrow.  I was actually surprised he asked — we’re rapidly approaching the age when my very existence must not be acknowledged in front of peers — so this afternoon I went to my files to dust off my little outline […]


An FYI to Houston readers – I had a column in the last issue (November 25, 2010) of the Examiner newspapers making the case for getting birthday treats out of schools.  If you’re a regular TLT reader and/or read my recent guest blog post on The Wellness Bitch on the same subject, this will all […]


The Birthday Cupcake Debate Heats Up

by Bettina Elias Siegel on May 28, 2010

I intended to post on an entirely different topic today, but then I received this robust and thought-provoking response in favor of the right to bring cupcakes (or other treats) to school on your child’s birthday: As a mother, an attorney, and a libertarian, I can tell you the last thing I want is one […]