Classroom celebrations are fun and children really love them (teachers…well they can be chaotic!). Often, whether birthdays or any other special occasion, these celebrations can be the ‘perfect’ excuse to bring not-so-healthy choices to students. Many school districts have strict guidelines as to what can be brought to classrooms (store-bought only, no nuts, etc.), other districts and/or schools can be more lenient as to what can be shared. However, one thing tends to remain constant: sugar. Fortunately, classroom celebrations can also be GREAT opportunities to show children that there are many other ways and types of foods to celebrate with.
This week a parent of one of my students had contacted me because she wanted to celebrate her child’s birthday in a special and healthy way. She asked me if she could make smoothies in my class. She would bring all the ingredients and devices needed (blender included) to prepare them at the end of the day. I thought the idea was genius! Fruit smoothies instead of sugar-loaded cupcakes or ice cream…YES!
After the success of this small yet great way to celebrate a special occasion, I started thinking about next week and how millions of classrooms across the country and the world would celebrate Christmas (if they do). I want to replace the cookie-ice cream-cupcake parties with a healthy alternative, and healthy does NOT equal boring.
I am still brainstorming about next week (clock is ticking), and thinking whether or not I want to do smoothies.I definitely want to make sure that as a teacher I am not only teaching academics and social skills, but also good eating habits. Instead of the afternoon lunch/treats, I was thinking about a healthy breakfast filled with fruit, some cereal assortment, juice and some type of bread. I will definitely share the idea with my students and see how we can ‘compromise’ so that we all win in the end.
My classroom could be filled with pan dulce, flan, queso de leche, and much more; however, I feel that there is a special time to share those dishes just not every classroom celebration.
This is a new thing and I am definitely still learning about it, but what are some tasty and healthy alternatives you have tried at home or in the classroom? I would love for you to share. I am convinced that teaching healthy choices and eating habits to our children is a ‘team effort.’ Would you like to join my team? Please share your amazing ideas.
Abrazos and healthy eating,
Photo thanks to Stegsie