Monday, September 19, 2011

Healthy School Celebrations!

There are many celebrations in the schools—from holidays to birthdays. In order to keep our children healthy, the Iowa City Community School District Wellness Policy requires that celebration foods meet adequate nutrition standards. This policy will help keep the focus of school celebrations on healthy fun.

Acceptable Treat Ideas:

Fresh fruit
Fresh fruit or vegetable skewers
Fresh vegetables with dip
Dried fruit
Frozen fruit with no added sugar
Canned fruit in natural juice
Cheese/meat & whole grain
   cracker tray
String cheese
Vegetable or fruit pizza
Sandwiches cut into quarters
Mini bagels
100% fruit snacks
Rice cakes
Oat bran muffins
Oatmeal raisin cookies, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers
Frozen 100% fruit juice bars
Low-fat pudding cups
Low-fat yogurt
100% fruit drinks

Food doesn’t always have to be the center of school celebrations. Here are some other ideas:

Non-food Ideas for Favors or Treats:

Art supplies
Other small school supplies
Small books
Bouncy balls

Party Activities that Don’t Focus on Food:
Have a scavenger hunt
Take a walk outside
Bring music and have a dance or sing songs
Make a gift
Make a craft related to the party theme
Have a community project
Have a talent or drama day
Design, build and run an obstacle course
Have the birthday child lead an active game
Have a parent come and read a story
Create a “celebrate me” birthday book for the birthday child: classmates write stories, poems or draw pictures for the book

For additional healthy treat ideas, or to find
healthy recipes, check out these websites:

Iowa City Community School District
Wellness Policy
(the complete policy is on the district webpage:

Appendix C, section regarding celebrations

The school district will:
limit foods and drinks brought for celebrations initiated by parents during the school day to a list of snacks that meet the nutrition requirements for ala carte food and drink items. This list will be distributed to parents and teachers at the beginning of the school year.
allow the exception of no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for ala carte and vending guidelines during each classroom celebration.
remind parents as needed of the list of acceptable food options if noncompliant foods are served at classroom celebrations.
encourage staff to incorporate physical activities into classroom and building celebrations.

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