Bengaluru

Chikki, dry fruits replace chocolates, cakes on birthday celebrations in schools

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Junk food has been banned both on and around school campuses

Distributing cakes and chocolates on birthdays is now passé in many city schools. School managements have asked students to distribute dry fruits, chikki or jaggery-based sweets on their birthdays instead.

The move comes after the Department of Primary and Secondary Education decided to ban junk food on and around the school campus. Earlier this week, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar directed the department to follow the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s draft notification which states that carbonated drinks, chips, processed juice packets, pizzas, samosas, etc., should not be sold in and near schools.

Guidelines

Mansoor Ali Khan, member, board of management, Delhi Public Group of Schools, said that the heads of all their schools were in the process of chalking out guidelines for sweet treats that can be distributed on birthdays. “We are thinking of asking students to bring jaggery-based sweets, soya-based sweets or chikki,” he said, adding that there were plans to regulate distribution of sweets as on an average there are at least five birthdays in a class every month.

B. Gayatri Devi, principal, Little Flower Public School, said that for the past three years in their school, they have been asking students to bring peanut chikki or dry fruits on their birthdays. “We also promote seasonal fruits which are a great hit among students and teachers who find them very energising,” she said.

Parents, on the other hand, have mixed reactions. While some have hailed the move, others feel the healthy alternative will drill a hole in their pockets. “There are 30 students in my child’s class and providing dry fruits for all of them is not feasible. So, we will have to keep our budget in mind and figure out a healthy alternative,” said Suraksha S., a parent whose son is in class three.

Non-edibles

Keeping this in mind, schools are also asking students and parents to bring homemade sweets or healthy bakes. Some schools are asking students not to distribute edibles at all. Sumanth Narayan, founder of Shanthinikethana School, said that students can distribute stationery to their classmates or donate books to the library.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 7:03:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/chikki-dry-fruits-replace-chocolates-cakes-on-birthday-celebrations-in-schools/article30001046.ece

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