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When did the convention of supplying cake for birthdays at school begin?

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#1 Tarantara

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:47 AM

I often hear about the issues related to restrictions on cakes / biscuits / lollies etc being supplied by children or parents for the class at school, kinder or even daycare.

When did this become a convention?

I attended three different primary schools and three different high schools, all in WA and all before 1990, but I cannot for the life of me remember this ever being a social convention.

Is it an Australia wide phenomenon?
When did it begin?
Why does it continue given all the issues?

#2 HRH Countrymel

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:56 AM

I was teaching at a district school (k-10) in the late 90s and it wasn't happening, it also doesn't happen at my nephew's school now. (inner city)

I suspect it is a carry over from daycare - now that children transitioning from daycare to school is so much more prevalent it has become more common.

#3 Banana Pancakes

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:01 AM

I went to 4 primary schools and 2 high schools up and down the Queensland Coast and it never happened. Thankfully it doesnt happen at my ds school, or maybe it is and he just never told me  <img src="style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" /> I certainly hope its not happening without my knowledge!

Edited by Banana Pancakes, 15 June 2014 - 02:14 PM.

#4 cinnabubble

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:01 AM

It certainly didn't happen at any of the primary schools I attended in the 70s.

#5 kpingitquiet

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:02 AM

We had class birthday parties, usually involving cupcakes or cookies, up until about 2nd grade. That was *groan* 28 years ago, but in a different country. Doesn't seem strange to me.

#6 *LucyE*

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:03 AM

I think it's a new phenomenon.  I don't mind it because it saves me having to host a birthday party but the children still get a kick out of sharing and celebrating their birthday with school friends.

#7 julz78

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:06 AM

Been happening since I was in kindy in '83 though I missed out all the time because my birthday is in school holidays. This is south coast and western sydney. Actually at my primary school in assembly all the kids with birthdays during that week would get called up on stage where they would have  a dummy birthday cake and would light the candles and they all got to blow them out while everyone sang happy birthday. It didn't happen in highschool though you would probably get your head flushed in the toilet if you did.

#8 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:23 AM

I dont know, but i hate it as my son has milk intolerance and has to watch everyone else eat yummy cake . He is 5 and doesnt understand very well.
Last week a mum brought in choc cupcakes (i was told cakes are discouraged) and my son had to sit there and watch everyone else eat them , he was in tears when i picked him up.

I have now made a batch of dairy free cupcakes to be kept for him at school. but its not the same.

#9 GoBack2Bed

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:33 AM

I actually like this convention! Kids get a mini party with friends then a family party so they get a bigger celebration with little effort or cost!

Also my daycare has some kids with anaphylaxis so if you want a cake you need to supply them with a cake mix that requires no eggs and then they actually get the kids in that room to help make the cake. So the kids also get a fun activity out of it too!

Plus I don't have to buy a cake or make it myself. Win win!

#10 No girls here

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:35 AM

I didn't have it happen at schools, but it used to happen at my preschool, way back in 1979 (NSW).

Neither of the day cares my kids have attended, nor the primary school, allow you to send cakes for birthdays, due to allergy risks.

#11 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:44 AM

QUOTE (Jillian_10 @ 27/02/2013, 06:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is it an Australia wide phenomenon?
When did it begin?
Why does it continue given all the issues?

Not a common occurrence when I was at school (70's & 80's, Qld).  Can't remember it happening at all in high school, and I really don't remember it happening in primary school either.  I remember my grade 3 teacher brought in cake for her own birthday to share with our grade - that was pretty exciting!  Obviously a novelty event, because I still remember it but I don't remember kids bringing cakes in for themselves.

However, it seems to be reasonably common in daycare centres now, although not everyone does it.  I don't take much notice of who does and who doesn't.  We have if it's been convenient, but we have also missed a few.  The kids don't notice.  It's not expected by daycare staff.

DD1 started school this year - along with all the information supplied in the first week about canteen, etc, there was a short blurb about birthday cakes brought to school (it is permitted, but parents are encouraged to supply enough for the whole class, store-bought cakes only and hand to the teacher before the bell rings.  The school has back-up cupcakes for kids with allergies but would like to know in advance if you are bringing in a birthday cake, just to make sure they have the right amount for the kids with allergies).  

DH & I were both surprised that it happens in school.  We were hoping it would stop once the kids started 'big school'.  I'm surprised that schools allow it to happen - I would have thought it was simply easier for them to have a blanket ban on birthday cakes.

#12 Etcetera

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:52 AM

We do it and I love doing it.
It makes me very sad that a PP son misses out due to intolerances. I would assume the teacher knows so it should be insisted that intolerances and allergies are catered for. I always ask and would make all cakes the same.

#13 Carmen02

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:57 AM

i dont remember it going to school in the 80's and 90's. I actually can't stand it now..DS1 is coeliac and doesnt fully understand what he can and can't have his teacher last year told me his old enough to watch his diet and should know what he can and cant eat so shes not watching whats being brought for birthdays (its amazing how much gluten is hidden in!) but his teacher this year is fantastic with it

#14 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:57 AM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 27/02/2013, 07:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're obviously not spinning it the right way. DS loves that he gets to to have his 'special' cupcakes while everyone else eats boring old normal cake.

I am really surprised a 5yo doesn't understand about his own dietary requirements/restrictions. My own 5yo will not touch food that hasn't been given the ok as being egg and nut free. He is fully on top of his own allergies and has been for a year or so now. He knows what he reacts to, what the reaction will be and why he reacts. He also understands that not all food is safe for him and that he is to never, ever share food or drinks with others. We've been drilling it into him since he was 2-3yo. He's never had an issue with eating 'special cupcakes' (they're really nut free, vegan chocolate cupcakes) instead of whatever everyone else is eating.

I guess he is not as smart as your boy original.gif he understands to an extent.... sigh we will get there.
Its not really the end of the world when he misses out on cake, but is just the exclusion and when i am not informed so he has no "special cupcakes" .

#15 JustBeige

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:03 AM

My eldest is nearly 13 and it has been happening since she was in care.  

I do agree that I thinks its a follow on from what happens in DC.

#16 doubledelight

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:04 AM

I didn't do it with my older two but it is being done with my younger two.  I try and mix it up, I always pre-arrange with teachers & check any allergies/intolerances and try and choose something that all can share.  One year I did individual donuts and last year I made rainbow jelly cups instead of cake.

#17 Maniacal_laugh

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:10 AM

I grew up in the UK (primary school in the early '80s) and it never happened there. Don't know if that's still the case.

We did have a tradition of bringing back a stick of rock for the class if we'd been on holiday (during term time). The teacher would smash it up and we'd all get a tiny chunk.

Gawd, I feel old, I almost slipped into a rant about how that was such a highlight and how WE didn't need a cake once a week to make us happy...

#18 Ponyo

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:11 AM

We did at primary school in the 80's, but that was also in another country.

#19 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:17 AM

QUOTE (FluffyOscar @ 27/02/2013, 08:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hate it and wish it would stop. There is so much crap in our kids' diet, "treat" foods at every opportunity, no wonder our kids are obese.

I also think this as well.   I don't want it to be an expectation of birthday cake (or similar) every week or so at school (which is entirely possible if you have 25-30 kids in a class).

I thought birthday cakes were just for birthday parties ....

#20 Just Another Cat

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:35 AM

I remember parents sending cakes in for their kids birthdays when I was in primary school (early 90's). It wasn't the whole class, maybe 1 every term or so. As a kid it was always exciting to have the special treat in class.
My birthday was in the holidays so I always missed out. I will consider sending cakes in for my kids once they start school. At DD's day care they make cakes themselves to celebrate birthdays.

#21 Monket

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:35 AM

I wish the kids with the food sensitivities would let us know what they are!  I would happily make cakes for everyone if I knew what I could and couldn't include.  

When I was a kid, we used to make cakes for the teachers birthday but didn't bring anything for our own.  My kids love bringing cakes and having a fuss made over them.

#22 PrincessPeach

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:38 AM

I'm 30 this year & I recall mum baking a cake for pre-school, but that was all.

Pre-school was our first year at school.

#23 WhatWouldBuffyDo

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

I don't mind it because it saves me having to host a birthday party but the children still get a kick out of sharing and celebrating their birthday with school friends.

This is why i do it.

I didn't do it until year 10 and then my group of friends would all chuck in $15 for each birthday. It would cover cake, card and present original.gif

#24 Percoriel

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

Didn't happen at my schools in WA in the late 70's and through the 80's.

It also doesn't happen at my daughter's primary school. Also hasn't happened at either of the daycares and kindy my daughters have attebded (thank goodness!!) Actually neither daycare allowed outside food to be brought in at all due to allergy risks.

Edited by Percoriel, 27 February 2013 - 08:51 AM.

#25 Gudrun

Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:55 AM

I heard of it in Europe before I heard of it here and thought the tradition gradually developed here as a result of immigration.

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