Healthier Classroom Parties
Healthier Classroom Parties

Classroom parties: Fewer cupcakes, more fun!

Healthier Classroom PartiesSpecial foods and traditions give us joy around birthdays and holidays and are fun to share. Classroom celebration parties abound with festive crafts and sweet treats. But instead of loading up the cupcake carrier, use these parties as an opportunity to introduce kids to foods they may not be familiar with and help students develop positive attitudes toward healthy foods that will carry into adulthood. Interesting new foods can also be more memorable than yet another sheet cake.

To make your healthy celebrations a success, try these tips:

  • At the beginning of the school year, offer a list to parents of healthy foods they can bring for their child's birthday or holiday celebrations.
  • Keep it fun! Make snowman kabobs out of bananas rounds and serve them with a tasty apple yogurt dip. Try making vegetable “people” or “animals” with a savory cucumber yogurt dip. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes in cheese slices. Let your creativity run wild.
  • Check out other ideas on our Healthy Classroom Party page on Pinterest.

Classroom parties can be a great way to reinforce nutrition education and to eat better together. Try some of these ideas:

  • Explore cultures and have students share their celebration traditions. Get some food ideas in our Celebration of Culture.
  • During the holidays, compete between classes or within your own for the tastiest healthy treat.
  • Use a MyPlate image as a placemat to discuss the foods you’re eating and where they come from—this is a great way to reinforce your nutrition lessons.

Need more ideas to increase the fun while decreasing the cupcakes?

  • During the holidays, break students into "five food groups" and have them bring snacks featuring their food group
  • Have parents bring in foods children may not have tasted before, like persimmons. Talk about where persimmons grow, what cultures use them, then slice them like apples and have a tasting party.
  • Have an "orange" party in the fall with orange fruits and vegetables made into treats like pumpkin pudding, persimmon slices and orange wedges. In December, host a "red and green" party. Have the kids list fruits and vegetables that are red and green and brainstorm ways to make them into fun treats. They'll enjoy coming up with unusual foods.

Cakes and cupcakes certainly have their place at an occasional party; however creating an early passion for a wide variety of celebration foods will positively impact their lives. Children equipped with experiences and knowledge to choose a variety of snacks and treats all their lives is something worth celebrating.