Tomorrow is my birthday! Hooray! I still get excited every year. One extra great thing about my birthday is that it happens to be the first birthday of the school year in my class (or at least close!) This lets me set a precedent for the year, leading by example. The picture you see above is what I have packed to share at school tomorrow with my students to celebrate my birthday.
A couple of years ago I began encouraging fresh fruit for birthday treats. It largely began because I had a student with severe food allergies, and we were struggling with what food would be safe to share. It was a huge success! Kids brought in all kinds of fruit, fruit skewers, fruit they picked themselves at the orchard – they really got into it. They absolutely loved the fruit as much, if not more, than the technicolor cupcakes they were used to. And it was so much healthier.
Now I use my birthday as the example celebration, and encourage kids to keep with the healthy theme. The thing is, when we provide fresh fruits and vegetables, young kids love them! They get excited to choose carrot sticks at lunch, they choose strawberries for snacks, and they list salads, peas, apples – you name it – amongst their favorite foods.
Birthday treats are one more opportunity to give young children some credit, and assume that, when given real, healthy food, they will love it! Even if your birthday is not early in the year, you can still encourage them to celebrate their birthday in a healthy way.
If you are interested in reading more about healthy, real food options for children, I suggest you check out the website Get Real For Kids. They have some amazing ideas!
What birthday treats are your students bringing to school? And what do you wish they were bringing?