Celebrating with students and staff is an important part of a school’s culture. But have you ever stopped to think about how many celebrations occur during the school year? Birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and school-wide events can add up quickly. Make sure that your celebrations reflect the same healthy messages you promote elsewhere throughout the school day.
5 Steps to Healthier Celebrations
Step 1: Know your Wellness Policy
A strong wellness policy is an important tool for implementing healthy celebrations in your school or district.
What does your local wellness policy say about foods and beverages at school parties and celebrations? Do you limit how often you can have parties? Do you serve only foods and beverages that meeting the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards at parties?
If you need to update your local wellness policy, check out Healthier Generation’s Model Wellness Policy template, which was approved by the USDA, to make healthy celebrations the standard for students in your district.
Step 2: Provide Alternatives
Your students and staff will never miss their unhealthy celebration options if you make sure to offer plenty of fun alternatives. Get started with the following resources:
Step 3: Engage Kids
Remember to involve your customers in the process. Ask students to sample new products using our Taste Testing Guide or survey students to find out how they want to celebrate using our Sample Healthy Celebrations Student Survey. And let them choose healthier options for celebrations from this Birthday Menu from Rosa Parks Edison Kindergarten.
Step 4: Use Clear Communication
Be sure to communicate your celebration policy to everyone – including staff, students, and parents. Announce the new policy when it’s adopted and send reminders throughout the school year that parties and celebrations should center around non-food activities or serve only foods and beverages that meet Smart Snacks standards.
Spread the word about healthy celebrations using the following tools:
Intercom or email announcements
School websites or social media accounts
Staff or student orientation or open house nights
Step 5: Ask for Help
You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Use the resources available to you through the Healthy Schools Program, including on-demanding trainings in the Healthier Generation Resource Center.
Don't forget to connect with a Healthier Generation National Nutrition Advisors for personalized support!