BIRTHDAYS and OTHER CELEBRATIONS
As we implement the new MA School Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages as mandated by the State of MA*, Governor Winslow School is committed to providing opportunities to improve the overall well-being of our students. One of the many ways we support this endeavor is by modeling and encouraging healthy nutritional behaviors in school.
The new standards were developed by health and education experts using the “Institute of Medicine’s Nutrition Standards for Food in School” and the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.” The standards are focused on “competitive” foods and drinks sold or provided in public schools from 30 minutes before the beginning of the school day until 30 minutes after the school day ends. The standards do not apply to school meal programs, which follow USDA national guidelines.
Our teachers will therefore only be conducting HEALTHY CELEBRATIONS throughout the year. Classroom parties such as birthday and holiday celebrations do not need to involve food, just fun!
- Fun, not Food: Teachers will avoid making refreshments the “main event” at parties and will not use food as a reward or prize.
- Different Drinks: One 8oz. low-fat (1%) or non-fat milk (plain or flavored), one 4 oz. 100% juice or water with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners is an allowable option.
- Snacks: Low-fat cheese sticks, low-fat and low-sodium popcorn, rice cakes, teddy grahams, baked low-sodium tortillas, low-sodium salsa and cheerios are allowable options. (As we begin this implementation, it is advisable to check with your child’s teacher and/or the School Nurse before you purchase items to ensure they are acceptable for distribution in school.)
- Other ideas for parents (instead of food) for Birthdays:
- Birthday stickers for the class,
- Birthday pencils (pens for older students),
- Markers, crayons or colored pencils as a classroom donation,
- Birthday bookmarks,
- A playground ball (with your child’s name and birth date on it) for the class,
- A book or books dedicated in honor of your child’s birthday for the classroom or the GWS Library,
- A board game or card game (for indoor recess),
- Birthday hats, party favors, bubbles for younger children,
- The suggestions could go on and on . . . . . .
Thank you for helping us to implement the Massachusetts School Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages. Healthy Celebrations….Fun not Food!
Karen Hubbard, Principal
Courtney Powers, School Nurse