Make your parties at school healthier

Incorporate healthy ways to make school holiday parties a successful event.

The time of the year is among us when schools have parties to celebrate the holidays. This article will explore effective ways to make those parties fun, positive, and healthier for the kids.

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all holidays that classrooms like to celebrate with friends and families. Often times, people bring treats and candy to class to pass out to others. Let’s look at some different ideas for making school parties healthy and fun.

When thinking about the food that is being provided, think about what types of food the kids could participate in making. It might be fun to actually get a recipe or two and share their experiences with their families. One idea is to provide a lesson on how to make apple sauce, and using adult volunteers to help make a batch of apple sauce during your Halloween or Thanksgiving party. This is a healthy snack, but also provides a fun lesson for the kids. Students can take turns stirring, adding ingredients, and watching what the apples do as they are getting cooked.

Michigan State University Extension suggests these healthy food choices for parties:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • Animal crackers
  • Baked chips
  • Low-fat popcorn
  • Soft pretzels and mustard
  • Pudding
  • String cheese
  • Low fat milk
  • 100 percent fruit juice or bottled water

Remember that some students may have allergies. Nut allergies are the most popular, so avoiding foods with peanuts would be the best way to avoid any allergic reactions.

Another way to make your parties fun is to do an activity with the kids and families. Doing a physical activity helps promote healthy living as well as fun for the holidays. Create an obstacle course around the school with stations for families to do exercises or complete learning puzzles.  Once they have completed the entire course, they could get a prize or a free book. (Remember to stay away from rewarding with candy)

Schools can play a major role in helping students become fit, healthy and ready to learn. It is also important to make sure the school parties follow the same idea of keeping kids healthy and excited to learn.

For more information about MSU Extension and healthy living programs, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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