Party pooper school principals have banned children from enjoying even a sliver of cake on their birthday because of safety, hygiene and nutritional concerns.
Schools have tightened the cake rules in recent years because of allergies and mandated that cupcakes be sent instead because knives were too dangerous for the classroom.
While any kind of food sharing was off the table last year because of coronavirus pandemic, some principals have this year banned any kind of birthday sweet treats because they are trying to model healthy eating - a move nutritionists say could backfire because denying children a food item simply makes them want it more.
Greta Primary School in the Hunter is the latest to deny students cake following coronavirus hygiene concerns, this week telling parents to order a bucket of healthy ice blocks for every student at 40 cents a pop.
"The 'bucket' has enough sugar free zooper dooper ice blocks for your child's class, delivered at a time when the teacher says is convenient to their learning day," this month's school newsletter states.
Wollondilly Anglican College has also banned any birthday celebrations because of healthy eating concerns.
"No Class Birthday Cakes and Treats 2021 … While this is a lovely gesture, the number of birthday treats coming into the College each day is causing concern," parents were told via the newsletter last year.
"Most weeks see a birthday or two from each class, sometimes several on one day. This makes it difficult to promote our healthy eating policy amongst the junior years."
Manly Village Public School has also told parents to purchase ice blocks, New Lambton South Public in Newcastle banned cakes for health reasons while nearby Bishop Tyrell Anglican College banned any food because it posed an allergy risk.
Nutritionist Kristen Beck said schools should worry more about overloaded lunch boxes than slices of cake.
"I think the worst thing you can do with a kid is say you can't have that because they want it more," she said.
"It is a matter of not making a big deal about it, by just having a small amount of (cake) and making sure that they are filling up on the healthy stuff."
NSW P and C Federation president Tim Spencer said a blanket ban on cakes could be a blessing for busy mums and dads.
"Parents feel obliged to have to do it, it puts some pressure on some parents where they're not able to do it," he said.
Mum Mel Wise whose 8-year-old son Zac Gordon attends Manly Village Public School was in favour letting kids have their cake.
"The health and safety aspect of it has got a bit ridiculous. The hand sanitiser is there - that is all they need," she said.
Originally published as No cake for you: schools ban birthday treats