Healthy Classroom Celebration Activities

School parties are fun! Everyone looks forward to the activities, social interactions, decorations, and much more. In addition to just being a fun time, classroom parties are a great opportunity for role modeling, too. Teachers, parents, and volunteers can show students that they value eating well and that getting active is important. By showing students that parties can be healthy and still be enjoyable, students learn the value of good health.

An easy way to make celebrations even more special is to have just one party per month. Work with your classroom at the beginning of the year to make a monthly birthday party schedule. That way, parties still seem special, and everyone’s birthday gets recognized.

One simple way to make a classroom party healthy is by celebrating special events without food. Parties should put the emphasis on fun activities, like crafts or games, rather than food. Games and activities can get students even more excited about the party than would food! Kids just love to have a break from schoolwork; they’re not concerned that food will be served at the celebration.

Fun Party Activities! • Bingo • Charades • Outdoor Adventure • Dance Party • Scavenger Hunt • Extra Recess Time • Crafts • Gym Time

Remember to keep goodies healthy, too. If parents offer to put together grab bags, be sure to fill them with fun things like pencils, small toys, key chains, and craft items instead of candy.

Healthy Classroom Celebration Food

Put the focus of the party on the games and exciting activities, rather than on food. If food is offered at a party, be sure that it’s not the main focus. For healthy celebrations, ensure that all foods provided meet the Wellness Policy’s specific nutrition standards. These healthy foods can be fun, too! Provided here are some ideas for great party foods.

When foods are offered at classroom parties, be sure that they meet the Wellness Policy’s nutrition standards. The standards are: • Not more than 30% of the total calories of the food item, excluding nuts or seeds, is from fat. • Not more than 10% of the total calories of the food item, excluding reduced-fat cheeses, eggs, and nut butters, is from saturated fat. • Not more than 35% of the total weight of the food item, excluding fruits or vegetables, is composed of sugar.

In addition, “healthy” foods should come from the following categories: • Milk and dairy products, including cheese, yogurt, and frozen yogurt • Full-strength fruit and vegetable juices and fruit juice containing 100% full strength fruit juice • Fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters • Eggs • Non-confection grain products including crackers, bread items, tortillas, pretzels, bagels, muffins, granola bars, trail-mix bars, cereal, and popcorn

Here are some cool and enjoyable foods that kids will love! • Fruit kabobs with low-fat yogurt
• Veggie trays with low-fat dip • Frozen 100% juice bars • Whole wheat bagels with low-fat topping • Quesadillas made with whole wheat tortillas and reduced-fat cheese • Frozen bananas with toppings like peanut butter and low-fat granola • Have students make their own trail mix! Bring in items like whole grain cereals, nuts, and dried fruit.