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Student & Staff Wellness Policy

Healthy Celebrations

Schools should encourage celebrations that do not involve food. If food is involved, then every effort should be made to meet the nutritional standards of the NNPS Student & Staff Wellness Policies and Procedures.

Ideas for School and Classroom Parties

Help promote a positive learning environment by considering these healthy ideas for school celebrations!

Healthy Food Ideas

  • Fresh vegetables with optional low fat
  • Low fat popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Baked corn chips and fat free potato chips with salsa and low fat dips
  • Ready-to-eat low sugar cereals
  • Low fat cheese and crackers
  • Low fat ice creams, frozen yogurts, sherbets and sorbet
  • Low fat, low sodium bread products (preferably whole grain) such as breadsticks pita bread, small bagels
  • Fresh, canned or dried fruits with optional low fat yogurt dip
  • Low fat/low sodium crackers
  • Low fat cookies and crackers such as fig bars and gingersnaps
  • Low fat or nonfat yogurt/parfaits
  • Frozen fruit juice pops
  • Low fat pudding/gelatin cups
  • Un-iced angel food or sponge cakes, low-fat pound cake, ginger bread
  • Muffins made with no unsaturated/trans fat
  • Low fat meat/cheese/hummus/vegetable sandwiches made with whole grain bread and low fat sandwich spreads; sandwiches made with nut butters, whole grain bread, thinly sliced fruit or fruit butters

Activities to Celebrate the Child

  • Create a healthy party idea book. Ask school staff and parents to send in healthy recipes and ideas for activities, games and crafts. Compile these ideas into a book that staff and parents can use.
  • Give children extra recess time instead of a class party. For birthdays, let the birthday child choose and lead an active game for everyone.
  • Instead of food, ask parents to purchase a book for the classroom or school library in the birthday child’s name. Read it to the class or incite the child’s parents to come in and read it to the class.
  • Create a “Celebrate Me” book. Have classmates write stories or poems and draw pictures to describe what is special about the birthday child.
  • Provide special time with the principal or another adult, such as taking a walk around the school at recess.
  • The birthday child is the teacher’s assistant for the day, and gets to do special tasks like make deliveries to the office, lead the line, start an activity, and choose a game or story.

Activity ideas taken from the Connecticut State Department of Education handout, “What Schools Can Do, Ideas for Healthy Celebrations”.


Schools are encouraged not to use foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior and will not withhold food or beverages as punishment.

Alternate reward suggestions:

  • Pencils or stickers
  • Homework pass
  • Classroom responsibilities such as line leader
  • Raisins
  • Popcorn and a movie for the class
  • Health lunch with the teacher
  • Physical activities