By Rhiana Whitson.
A Tasmanian primary school has banned students from including candy canes and similar treats with their Christmas cards this year.
Bellerive Primary School announced a new healthy eating policy on its school association Facebook page on Wednesday.
Under the policy, birthday cakes would also be banned from next year in favour of healthy options.
Reactions at the school have been mixed.
Parent Ian Green said the school’s healthy eating policy had gone too far.
“They are depriving kids of being kids,” he said.
“They’re not going to get obese because they have a cupcake, they’re not going to fall over and have a heart attack because they have a candy cane at Christmas.”
Another parent Kirsty Shaw said parents had not been consulted.
“I think the school community is a little bit sick and tired of being told what we can and what we can’t feed our children,” she said.
“I fear it’s a new form of bullying, food shaming.”
But not all parents disagree with the ban. Charrhara Harma said it was a good idea.
"Yeah that's good because junk is not good for children," she said.
Student James Overton could see both sides of the argument.
"It's not really good for your health, but no because people like them and they don't really want them to be banned from school," he said.
The Education Department has distanced itself from the decision.
It said its policy Move Well, Eat Well encouraged the wider school community to support limiting "occasional" foods.
Education Minister urges school to reconsider
In a statement, the state's Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff urged the school to reconsider.
"Christmas comes once a year as do children's birthdays, so while I appreciate the importance of a balanced healthy diet, I urge the school association to use some common sense and reconsider," Mr Rockliff said.
The Bellerive Primary School Association and the school's principal declined to comment.
Tasmania School Canteen Association executive officer Julie Dunbabbin said she believed eventually all schools would ban confectionary.
She said many schools were trying to address the issue of children being exposed to too many cakes due to classmates birthdays.
She said cakes could be healthy if baked the right way.
"We certainly promote the more healthier version, the ones with less sugar and saturated fat," she said.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
© 2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. Read the ABC Disclaimer here.