Students’ birthday celebrations at Burlington Elementary School can include singing, balloons and recognition in morning announcements. But as of this month they can no longer included cake. Or ice cream. Or food, period.

Burlington Elementary School, part of the Boone County school district, revised its wellness policy this year. Among the changes: no food allowed at school birthday celebrations.

Non-food treats are still allowed. The policy gives as examples pencils, erasers, bookmarks.

It’s one of very few schools to make the move. And it hasn’t been easy.

“We’re finding it’s difficult to be the first,” said Valerie Bailey, whose son goes to Burlington Elementary. She’s on the PTA and on the committee that helped craft the policy. “Parents say it’s not fair. But we hope it sends a message to the parents and kids, especially with the obesity rate being so high, and puts a bug in their ear.”

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