Bittersweet Send-Off Before School Ban on Baked Goods
Parents on Long Island gave their kids a sweet send-off before a school ban on homemade baked goods goes into effect Monday. Under the new guidelines, all snack foods will have to be prepackaged, and meet preprepared nutrition guidelines.

A cupcake brigade of parents descended on Tooker Avenue Elementary School Friday to protest the new program. They spent hours baking homemade cakes, cookies and brownies for their kids' last hoorah.

"This is a sad day," one mother said. "We are saying goodbye to a kid's childhood."

Under the new wellness policy, all snacks must conform to rules put in place by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, or the New York State Nutrition Association's Choose Sensibly program. Approved items include baked chips, fruit pops made with real fruit, trail mix without nuts, low-fat pudding and animal crackers.

Melissa Clark, a parent of a kindergartner, sent her kid to school with Halloween cupcakes. "It's not that I am against healthy choices," she said, adding that snacks can be had "in moderation. I don't see how taking away a cupcake for a birthday . . . really helps our kids. I think it is a little over the top."

West Babylon is considered to be a leader in food policy, and was the first Long Island district to participate in the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The new policy was passed 7-2 by the school board Tuesday.

The school district issued a statement Friday saying the policy "represents the recommendations made by a districtwide wellness commission convened in this year. The committee was made up of representatives of all seven schools in the district including faculty and parents.