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Classroom Parties and Birthday Celebrations

Classroom Parties and Birthday Celebrations

There are many special occasions - birthdays, holiday celebrations, etc - where we bring treats into the classrooms for students.  But we don't want to overload students with sugar, disrupting the productivity in the class or ruin a student's appetite for lunch or dinner.  These occasions are a golden opportunity for parents and teachers to demonstrate healthy choices.  The following offers ideas for classroom celebrations that are fun for  students, modest in size and reasonably healthy.

Please be aware of any food allergies in the classroom.  If you are not sure, ask the teacher before bringing food.


Guidelines for Parties & Celebrations

There are many special occasions – birthdays, holiday celebrations, and parties at school. 

A popular birthday tradition at PHE in lieu of treats is the giving of a book by the child to the school classroom or library to celebrate his/her special day. The birthday child wraps and brings a book to share and leave as a present for the class library. The child’s name is written on a book plate in the book as an acknowledgement of his/her birthday and long-lasting gift to the class.


Please do not bring treats to your child’s class without first checking with the teacher.

Room parents provide special day treats for parties that are organized by each class.


"Please DO NOT SEND foods with minimal nutritional value such as frosted cupcakes, candy, most cookies, jellies, candy-coated popcorn, gummy candy, and chewing gum."


General Suggestions:

Consider a non-food treat – Pencils, erasers, mini note pads, rulers all make great treats.  Ask your child; he or she may have another suggestion of something inexpensive that he could give to his classmates to celebrate a special day.

If you are bringing food, it must be purchased from a store.  Homemade items present a risk of cross-contamination of foods that many of our students are allergic to.  If you bring a homemade item, you will be asked to take it home.  Thank you for respecting our policy!


More Healthy School Snack Suggestions*

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Whole, sliced, cubed or wedge fruit
  • Applesauce (unsweetened), Fruit Cups, Canned Fruit
  • Dried Fruit – raisins, apricots, apples, cranberries, pineapples and others with little or no added sugar
  • Frozen Fruit – freeze grapes, blueberries, strawberries, melon, peaches etc.
  • Fruit Leather or other all-fruit roll-ups – no added sugar
  • Fruit Salad
  • Popsicles – with 100% fruit juice and no added sweeteners
  • Smoothies – blended with fruit juice, yogurt, milk and ice
  • Vegetables with dip – carrot and celery sticks, cucumber, red and yellow pepper, broccoli etc., with low-fat salad dressing (Ranch or Thousand Island), light dips, bean dips, guacamole, hummus, salsa, peanut butter
  • Salad – prepare a salad or set out a salad bar for students to make their own salad
  • Edamame (soybeans in the shell, usually steamed and lightly salted… yummy and fun to eat!)
  • Veggie Pockets – cut whole-wheat pita in half and add vegetables with dressing or hummus
  • Ants on a log – peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese on celery with raisins


Healthy Grains

  • Whole Wheat English Muffins, Pita or Tortillas – Stuff or dip in hummus or bean dip
  • Crackers – Whole grain crackers such as Triscuits, Kalvi Rye crackers, whole wheat matzos, served alone or with toppings such as low-fat cheese, peanut butter, low-fat luncheon meat
  • Rice Cakes – (made with whole grain or brown rice)
  • Popcorn – low-fat popcorn in a bag or microwave popcorn. Air popped popcorn seasoned by spraying with vegetable oil spray and adding parmesan cheese, garlic powder or non-salt spice.
  • Baked Tortilla Chips
  • Granola or Cereal Bars – low in fat and sugar
  • Pretzels, Breadsticks and Flatbreads

Low-Fat Dairy Foods

  • Yogurt – low-fat or fat-free, moderate in sugars (no more thank 30 grams of sugar in a 6 oz cup) and high in calcium (at least 25% of daily value (DV) for calcium in 6-oz cup).
  • Low-fat Cheese

Other Snack Ideas

  • Nuts
  • Trail Mix – items to include: low-fat granola, whole grain cereal, nuts, seeds, dried fruit


  • Water – should be the main drink served at snack times
  • Seltzer – sparkling water served alone or make a “healthy soda” by mixing sparkling water with equal amounts of 100% fruit juice
  • Low-fat and fat-free Milk
  • Soy and Rice Drinks
  • Fruit Juice – 100% fruit juice

Food Decorating Activities
Give each child a pre-measured portion of decorating items in a small cup or baggie. Do not put out bowls of candy or decorating materials.

*Before bringing food into the classroom, be sure to inquire to see if any of the children in the class have any food allergies, such as peanut or tree nut allergies.