03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Celebrating NYC's Bake Sale Ban with a List of Alternatives

New York City's Department of Education has banned bake sales, or at least limited them to once a month. While many parents and PTA members are bemoaning this new regulation, I am celebrating. The percentage of overweight and obese children is increasing at an alarming rate and we need to do all we can to stem the flow of this obesity epidemic.

Schools should be a safe haven for our children. As a Pediatrician and Child Obesity Specialist, I have overweight children crying in my office on a daily basis because they are constantly surrounded by unhealthy temptations. The average child is constantly bombarded with commercials for unhealthy foods, super-sized portions of fattening fare, and nonstop celebrations for birthdays, holidays, and other excuses for indulgence. While there is nothing our schools can do about the ubiquitous McDonald's, Burger Kings, and Taco Bells, there is certainly much they can do to do to keep our schools as healthy as possible.

There is simply no need to sell chocolate to our nation's already overweight students. Many opponents of these new regulations fear that they will no longer be able to raise needed money for things like sports equipment, uniforms, and school trips. And with recent budget cuts, schools do need to raise as much money as possible.

In light of these arguments, I have come up with two lists of Fundraising Ideas for Schools (That Don't Involve Food). Have no fear- there are still many easy ways for our school organizations to raise money.

Things To Sell

  1. Discount Cards/Entertainment Coupon Books
  2. Raffles
  3. Scratch Cards
  4. Wrapping Paper
  5. Flowers
  6. "Adopt-A-Tree"
  7. Stationery
  8. Smencils
  9. Scented Candles
  10. Calendars

Fundraising Events

  1. Car Wash
  2. Fun Run
  3. Charity Bike Ride
  4. Baseball or Dance Marathon
  5. Mini Golf Tournament
  6. Spelling Bee (for Students or Parents)
  7. Bingo
  8. Talent Show
  9. Auction Dinner (with locally donated products)
  10. Recycled Bottles/Cans Drive