Healthy treats for kids to bring to school

Healthy and educational ideas for youth parties in effort to avoid multiple brownie and cookie trays.

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, the health of your students is important to you. You already know that healthy students are better learners. Let Michigan State University Extension help you bring health into all aspects of the classroom without taking away the fun.

For holiday parties, whether it is Halloween, a winter holiday event, Valentine’s, or another celebration, if you are going to serve sweets and treats, make sure they are balanced with healthy choices. Veggies and dip, a fruit salad, air popped popcorn or whole grain crackers will help round out the choices. If students are contributing food, assign students certain items to bring or ask parents to sign up from a list you provide. This way you will not be serving 10 plates of brownies and zero healthy options.

If students are allowed to bring in birthday treats, be bold and try some non-food alternatives. Some ideas include:

  • Party favors
  • Funny shape balloons
  • Silly bracelets
  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Erasers

Instead of giving each student a gift, give a gift to the classroom. A book to add to the classroom library, a big fluffy floor pillow for the reading nook, sleds for winter recess use, etc. Many classrooms are now using iPads as part of learning, look into an iTunes gift card so the teacher can purchase an educational game for the class.

If you want to stick with food for birthday treats, make it an experience. Bring an exotic or new fruit/vegetable for the class to taste test (star fruit, ugli fruit, rutabaga, turnip, etc). Or bring ingredients for the class to make a recipe together (with preapproval from teacher of course!). With a little creativity, your child’s holiday or birthday will be a special experience for all.