Celebrating your child’s birthday with her classmates is very special and fun! When I
was growing up my “mom’s cupcakes” were the favorite treat to bring to school, but times have changed. Parents have super busy schedules, food allergies are a major concern and weight gain among children due to dietary choices and lack of exercise continue to rise. Some schools are beginning to encourage “non-food” birthday celebrations or healthier birthday treats with ingredient labels so all students can enjoy the celebration!
My Top Pick: At HeathBarn USA, we came up with the idea of the “Birthday Apple Celebration.” We place a candle in an apple just like on a birthday cake (see photo), present it on a special plate while singing happy birthday; then, the birthday boy or girl blows out the candle while making a wish! The apple (and additional apples, too!) gets sliced up to be served to all children. Sound simple? You bet, and kids LOVE it!
If your school requires packaged treats, try these (free of nuts and dairy):
- Skinny Pop Popcorn (many flavors to choose from) * gluten-free
- Lundberg Rice Cakes (Organic Caramel Corn Rice Cake and/or Apple Cinnamon Toast Rice Cake
- Kinnikritters Animal Cookies (Chocolate / Graham) * gluten-free
- Lucy’s Triple Chocolate Brownie Crisp & Cookies *gluten-free
- Barbara’s Snackimals Cookies (a variety of flavors, individually wrapped)
Looking for non-food birthday party ideas? Try these:
- Donate your child’s favorite book to the class and he can explain why he choose to share the book;
- Create a “ Birthday Book,” classmate can write a message or draw pictures into a blank notebook;
- Show and tell: Explain your healthy cooking experiences or other skill and show a sample either in person or with photographs;
- Bring a white t-shirt or cap to have all your classmates sign;
- Grow Your Own Food: Plant pea seeds in recyclable newspaper pots for the classroom or to take home, here’s how-to!
All of these birthday party ideas will have your special peep happily celebrating with his or her classmates with the full support of the school and teachers! Happy Birthday!
– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.