What’s not to love about birthdays? Snacks, presents and not to forget, birthday cakes! Parties are a great way to celebrate our children’s milestones with their school friends.
However, one mum came under fire for not allowing her son to have birthday cakes during school celebrations. In a TikTok video that has since gone viral, user “kyraxinyu“ gave her reasons for insisting on a “no-cake” policy for her son. Instead of sugar-laden birthday confectionary, “kyraxinyu“ has opted for fruits as a healthier alternative. Her son is still allowed to celebrate birthdays together with his pre-school friends, just without the calories and sugar rush.
Netizens have not taken well to this though, with some pointing out that “kyraxinyu“ is depriving her son of a childhood. Others have defended her position, saying that there is no wrong in ensuring a child follows a strict but healthy diet. Parents World Magazine speaks to 5 mothers to get their thoughts on this controversy, as well as find out how they manage their children’s nutrition during those important growing years.
Jolynn (not her real name)*, mother of two kids aged 3 and 7, agrees with “kyraxinyu“. “I think that parents who have valid reasons shouldn’t be discriminated against. We should respect preferences and their personal beliefs.” says Jolyn. Taking a similar stand as “kyraxinyu”, she doesn’t allow her children to have birthday cakes in school celebrations as she is not sure of the ingredients used in baking. Instead, Jolyn makes her own treats at home and adheres to strict “minimums” for vegetables and proteins. This is to ensure that her children receive the different nutritional requirements necessary for each stage of their lives.
Another mum who takes the same “no-sugar” approach is Seow Eng. For her own son, she controlled his diet when he was younger. That meant no sweets, no ice cream, chocolate or fast food. The only exception is an ice cream treat on his birthday. She slowly introduced more sugary foods when he turned 7, and even then, only in limited amounts. Seow Eng also feels that when it comes to managing diets, mothers only want the best for their children.
Sushmita, who is a trained nutritionist herself, also limits her children’s intake of cakes in school celebrations initially. “My kids have egg allergies so for the longest time, they come home sad because they can’t share their friends’ birthday cakes. Once they outgrew that, it was ok for them to enjoy.” Sushmita believes in moderation, and that depriving kids of sugary treats when young can backfire when they enter adulthood. But at the same time, she also educates them on the harms of too much sweet foods as well as maintaining proper dental hygiene.
On the other hand, Geraldine, mother of 2 children, feels that while it is up to individual parents, it can be sad for the child to be left out of celebrations when they don’t get to enjoy cake together with friends. She doesn’t limit her children’s diet as long as they eat healthy.
Karissa, another mother of 2, shares the same sentiments. She feels that it is a personal choice but goes on to add, “Her options seem contradictory. She does not let her boy eat cake from his friend’s party, but she still gets a cake for her child’s birthday and everyone is given cake.” For Karissa’s own children, she does not restrict their diet but provides them with healthier options. They are allowed to enjoy snacks such as cake, chocolate and sweets in moderation. They also follow rules like not eating sweet stuff late at night.
“If the child has no allergies, I believe in letting them try what they want in moderation. This way, it is not a privilege that they might over indulge in.”
What do you think? Should parents not allow their children to enjoy birthday cakes in school or restrict their diets? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!