Open Discussion Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Restriction of sweets/school policy

  • 1.  Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-11-2019 10:39 AM
    Do you have any policy at your school restricting sweets/junk food being brought in to school?  Most of our parents are bring in donuts for a morning treat when it's their child's birthday.  There other times throughout the week when cookies are brought to the class, a parent my bring pizza for the class, etc.  This all adds up to a lot of sweets and junk food throughout the school year.  I was wondering what other school do to implement a policy of restricting this being brought to school  Thank you.

    Robin Page
    Early Childhood Division Head
    All Saints' Episcopal School
    Fort Worth TX

  • 2.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-12-2019 07:15 AM
    on birthdays we celebrate with "a treat to see" (a show and tell with a favorite bday gift, a balloon for the class to play with) or "a treat for eating" (cupcake, lollypop, etc). we share the cupcake/popsicle/donut right after lunch (my class eats lunch between 12:50-1:10 and dismisses at 1:30). if the bday treat is a lollypop or something that takes a really long time to eat i pass out those items at 1:30 dismissal.

    excepting the 16 kiddo birthdays, we don't have other parties with sweets during the school year. 

    perhaps there is a way to communicate your "party policy" at the beginning of the school year so you can layout your classroom expectations with respect to sweets and treats?

    good luck!

  • 3.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-12-2019 08:41 AM
    We strongly discourage food as being the celebratory item for birthdays. The teachers organize games, honor the student with a birthday crown and the parents can give a treat to go home such as crayons, chalk maybe a book.  This works well for us but it does make educating the parents a must.

    Mary Alford
    Fair Haven Methodist Day School
    Houston TX

  • 4.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-12-2019 08:59 AM
    We started a new birthday policy three years ago. Parents are only allowed to bring fresh fruit or they can bring 100% fruit popsicles. On occasion, a parent will bring 100% juice boxes for a birthday. We serve pizza once a year during our school costume parade party.  We are a medium size school of 45, but that's a lot of cupcakes and cookies if everyone celebrates their birthday!! The 100 % fruit policy came from NAEYC criteria years ago ( food for sharing)

    Carol Carter
    Joyful Beginnings Preschool
    Lafayette, CA

  • 5.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-12-2019 10:03 AM
    This is our meal policy:


    Children should bring a labelled water bottle from home in order to track the amount of your child's water intake.  Teachers will encourage children to drink water throughout the day, and make water accessible at all times.

    Lunches must be packed from home.  We recommend that parents use small reusable, well sealing containers for both food and drinks.  Disposable drink containers are often left unfinished, and there is no way to send it home without mess.  We will always have children start with their healthiest food before allowing them to eat "snacks".  Please try to pack healthy, appropriate sized lunches.  We discourage the inclusion of candy and soda. Boulder County Health Department recommends sending children with a water bottle as their only liquids for the day. All leftovers will be returned at the end of the day so parents can monitor food consumption unless teachers are requested to do otherwise.  We will not serve Gatorade or Pedialyte drinks to children as it has been shown they can cause kidney damage if consumed in excess.

    We are happy to have children celebrate their birthday at school.  Please contact one of the teachers to make arrangements a week or so in advance.  We would like to suggest non-food based celebrations for the children at school such as donating a favorite book to the school to be read on the day, or donating outdoor activity supplies. Children are welcome to bring in a favorite fruit or commercially prepared snack to share from home; however, due to Boulder County Health Department regulations, home baked goods can no longer be brought in and shared.  Teachers will joyously celebrate any child's life.  If your child's birthday does not fall within the school year, we celebrate "un-birthdays"; this is where children can choose a day to honor their life during the school year.


    Michael Knuckey
    Executive Director
    Children's House Preschool
    Boulder CO

  • 6.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-15-2019 05:39 PM
    I think there has been some great dialog on this thread.  Most of us  are on the same page and I am thankful to hear that. Sugary snacks are not the only way to celebrate a special occasion. Let us all remember other ways and educate our families of that fact.

    Mary Alford
    Fair Haven Methodist Day School
    Houston TX

  • 7.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-12-2019 11:21 AM
    We ask that parents not bring sugary sweets to school.  On birthdays, we offer that parents can distribute goody bags with no candy or edible treats if they want.  We always make a crown and sing Happy Birthday to the child, then clapping out how old they are.
    We have also had to ask that parents not distribute sweets after school as we have had issues in the past with parents bringing lollipops for the kids and other parents not being pleased that their child received a treat (or the child not being pleased when the parent says they can't have one).

    Sherrie Rose Mayle
    Campbell Parents' Participation Preschool
    Campbell, CA

  • 8.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-13-2019 08:09 AM
    Great topic! I love seeing so many preschools take in active role in shaping healthy eating habits!  When my children went to preschool ( they are now in high school and middle school), the preschool allowed home made birthday treats, and did not set guidelines for lunches.  Now, I work at this same preschool and times have changed! Birthday treats guidelines are set by head teachers, however, the school does not allow home made food ( pretty sure on this).  There is a no candy at school rule, and juice boxes are discouraged. All lunch boxes must be stored in the refrigerator.
    When my oldest child started bringing lunch, I struggled to find a healthy food that could be easily packed and stay fresh enough for him to eat.  I was able to hold off on desserts at lunch until kindergarten, then crumbled to peer pressure.  From my parent head, I think having restrictions on home-packed lunch is great because peer pressure for junk is high! On the down side, it can be hard for families that eat home cooked, warm food at lunch, and store bought, prepackaged food is so tempting- but usually a nutritional nightmare of added sugar and salt, not to mention mountains of single use plastics.
    Personally, I encouraged my children to distinguish between food and "treats", food, like fresh fruits and veggies, proteins and whole grains, we eat because we are hungry and to fuel our bodies. Treats, like cupcakes, candy, chips, we eat because we like the taste and they are fun.  I don't mind having cupcakes for a birthday party- cupcakes are party food! But when we turn to treats for everyday eating, like high sugar yogurts, French fries, chips, granola bars and juice boxes for lunch, it is hard to maintain a healthy balance, and our "sugar and salt meters" get thrown off. In my perfect preschool world, I would allow home made cookies back in for birthday parties, but ban prepackaged salt and sugar bombs that sneak into lunch boxes masquerading as real food!  However, the Pinterest pressure of making 24-36 perfect butterfly cupcakes was sometimes heartbreaking for working mom's & heavy on stay at home moms, so I am glad to put those days to rest!  One last aside, my family now struggles with "disordered eating" by my 12 yr old daughter.  She often goes long stretches without eating because she is afraid of getting fat. We are seeing professionals to help create better eating habits, and her eating patterns are complicated by OCD and rigid thinking; ASD runs in our family, so it is a complicated area. None the less, society's labeling of good food,  bad food, thin good, fat bad, has definitely played a role. Under "doctor's orders, " we now allow ice cream and Doritos at the breakfast table!

    Margro Purple
    Rockville MD

  • 9.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-15-2019 09:20 AM
    We recently revamped our snack from home policy: 

    Families also ask how they may celebrate their child's birthday at the Children's Center. We suggest a variety of options. Some families bring a treat bag to send home with each child. If you choose to send home a treat bag, we encourage you to make it a nonfood treat such as pencils, crayons or stickers. Other families prefer to bring a snack to share with their child's class. We have found cupcakes are not a good choice since they often lick off the icing and throw the cupcake away, and it is not a healthy choice. This healthy snack should be similar to what you will find on our snack menu, such as vegetables and dip, cheese and crackers. Think about your child's favorite healthy snack. Any time you want to share a snack with your child's class please talk to the head teacher for the number in attendance on the day you want to bring the snack as well as any allergies. Please let the coordinator know the date you are bringing in snack and what snack you will share with the class. All food items must be in the original, unopened container with the ingredients list and expiration date.

    And today a parent showed up with cupcakes for a birthday treat without talking to me or the teacher.

    Diane Hendrick
    WCCC Campus Children's Center
    Latrobe PA

  • 10.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-15-2019 09:54 AM
    At our Head Start center we do not allow any food brought from home. We provide school breakfast lunch and snack. We encourage parents to bring in non-food items for celebrations. For classroom treats we give out pencils, stickers books and other non food items for holidays. Some parents try to bring in Valentines candy for the class or whatever and we have to send it home.

    Laura Mykel
    Nebo NC

  • 11.  RE: Restriction of sweets/school policy

    Posted 04-16-2019 09:59 AM
    My district has a no food rewards policy-which includes birthday cupcakes.  We can have 1 classroom party a year with food.

    Before the official district policy, I wouldnt allow birthday cupcakes and would ask families who still brought them to take them home (which is not a fun conversation to have).

    I invite families to donate a new or used book to the classroom, they can put their students' photo on the inside and then there is a lasting birthday gift (and often a cheaper one) than cupcakes that get eaten.
    They can also just send in a favorite book to read during their birthday (and it can go back home :)).

    We make a poster together of things we like about the birthday kiddo and that goes home, along with a crown :)

    Heather Young
    Kindergarten Teacher