In an effort to support and follow the wellness policy, the following has been compiled from a few online resources. Birthdays are important to every child and many like to celebrate with their classmates. However, sending in a food treat to the classroom can exclude those children who have food allergies, diabetes or other dietary restrictions.
Per our wellness policy, we are recommending choosing non- food or healthier food alternatives for birthdays and classroom parties. The list below is a guide to healthy food suggestions.
Simple quick healthy food ideas:
Popcorn cones or cups: kids can decorate cups with stickers, glitter glue, or marker drawings and then fill with homemade popcorn. Alternatively, provide small paper bags for decorating. Each child will get a souvenir and some yummy popcorn.
Fresh Fruit: kabobs, a fruit plate, fruit salad in cupcake wrappers or ice cream cones.
Veggies: carrot sticks, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes with a ranch dressing or hummus.
Popsicles: 100% fruitjuice
Classroom Guacamole: Mash avocado, squeeze on fresh lime juice, then mix in chopped tomatoes and a sprinkle of sea salt. Serve with multigrain or bean-based tortilla chips and veggie sticks (celery, carrots and red peppers).
Yogurt parfaits: In clear plastic cups, alternate layers of yogurt (preferably plain and organic) and fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or mangos, and a lower-sugar (<6 grams) granola. Top with toothpick umbrellas.
Ideas for those who love to bake:
Mini muffins: Homemade muffins can be very healthy! Carrot, blueberry, strawberry, banana.... Use whole-wheat or another whole grain flour, or add ground flaxseeds and/or wheat germ for extra nutrition.
Banana or zucchini bread: Most versions are very high in sugar and very high calorie. Cut the sugar in half or find a recipe with lower sugar (about 1⁄2 cup of sugar per recipe). Swap some or all of the white flour with whole grain flours.
*Remember that birthday snacks are often served in addition to regular snacks. Birthday treats only need to be a small serving for each child.
Note: if you have a child with a food allergy in your class room please make sure to talk to your child’s teacher before bringing in any foods. You can also consult with your school nurse regarding these issues.
Suggestions for celebrating your child without food:
*Please always check with your child's teacher to find out if the celebration is acceptable for the classroom and provide them with advance notice so they can fit birthday celebrations into their schedule.
-Come into the classroom and read a book to the class
-Buy something for the classroom (books, games, music)
-Decorate a box and send it to the classroom (have the teacher ask each child to write one sentence about something nice about the birthday student)
-Bring in something that all of the classmates can sign (shirt, tote bag, autograph stuffed animal, pillowcase, etc.)
-Ask the teacher if the birthday student can have a show and tell and bring in a favorite thing or something that tells about their life