The school year is fully under way. Throughout the year, elementary children often bring treats to school to celebrate their birthdays with fellow classmates. Typical foods for celebrations include cupcakes, cookies and other foods high in fat and sugar. Given that the obesity rates among children are on the rise, birthday celebrations can become a teachable moment for children.
First identify if you want your child's party to include food. If food is going to be part of the celebration, here are some ideas for healthful party snacks:
- Build your own yogurt parfaits (ingredients: layered fruit, granola, and yogurt)
- Angel food cake with strawberries
- Cheese and fruit kabobs
- Popcorn and pretzel mix
- Pudding in a bag (ingredients: zip-lock bags, milk, instant pudding; mix ingredients in bag and let children shake the bag until the pudding thickens)
- Veggie platter with dip
Here are some ideas for parties that have an activity focus:
- Ask the teacher to allow extra recess time for party games outside
- Play games in the classroom such as Simon Says, I-Spy, board games, Seven-up etc.
- If you need ideas regarding games, talk to your school's gym teacher.
Crafts are always a big hit. Think about...
Doing a craft related to an upcoming holiday
- Bringing in art supplies for classmates to make a picture or card for the birthday boy/girl
- Making masks
- Face painting
Involve your child in planning a party that is unique and that shifts the focus away from unhealthy foods to fun activities.
For more information regarding nutrition and healthy lifestyles contact:
Karen Ridings, M.S., R.D.
Family Consumer Sciences Agent
Frederick County Extension Office