Homemade treats no longer welcome in classrooms due to allergy concerns

ST. PETERS, Mo. – Birthdays will be celebrated a little differently at the beginning of the new school year in the Francis Howell School District. That’s because outside homemade treats are no longer welcome at some area elementary schools.

This year, the district is asking parents and guardians to keep those homemade cookies at home for students celebrating a birthday. And they have a very good reason when it comes time to blow out the candles.

When it comes to class sharing, the Francis Howell School District is all about allergy consciousness this school year.

“The CDC would tell you that the number of children that have severe allergies has tripled in last 20 years,” said Matt Deichmann, the communications and community relations officer for the Francis Howell School District. “So our district is not unique in this regard. There are plenty of larger school districts that have put similar regulations in place. And of course, it’s about student safety.”

No outside treats or food will be allowed for food sharing on birthdays or class party treats. The school district is encouraging parents or guardians wanting those to purchase through the district’s food service provider.

And in being allergy aware this school year, this school district encouraging other ways of celebrating for grade school students.

“We want to let parents know there are of other ways to celebrate birthdays, right? So it doesn’t necessarily have to be about food. You can bring in stickers, pencils, balloons,” Deichmann said. “There’s a lot of other ways to celebrate birthdays at the elementary level than giant icing covered cupcakes.”

The district says you can still pack your child’s lunch or a cupcake for them if it’s their birthday. You just can’t send enough for the whole class.

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