How many times have you talked with your nanny or babysitter about the kids coming home from school hyped up on sugar or suffering from a sugar low? Birthday celebrations, holidays, special occasions and rewards … oh let me count the cupcakes!
It does make you wonder what we are teaching our kids about how to have fun while still living a healthy life. Many schools are starting to address this challenge and you and your nanny or babysitter can help!
Alternatives to cupcakes: Cupcakes are not the only thing that says party! Make fruit fun by creating fruit ‘swords’ on wood skewers and have them stick out of a watermelon ‘pirate ship’. Or use small cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of bananas and melons. Muffins, seeds, graham crackers and popcorn bags can be made fun too if you add the most important ingredient – your creativity!
Alternatives to food: Instead of a party based around sugary snacks and sodas, create active celebrations. These can include giving kids extra recess time, playing games that you keep for special occasions, creating a scavenger hunt with non-food prizes, doing a special craft project or throwing a ‘dance party’.
Alternatives to ‘a party a day’: Some schools are designating one day a month to celebrate all the birthdays within that month; this means that even if cupcakes are served, it really is a special occasion versus ‘a treat a day’. some are even down-playing a party and recognise a kid’s special day in other ways: the birthday boy or girl can choose their favourite book for story time or wear a birthday sash and hat or be the assistant to the teacher for the day.
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Once you and your nanny or babysitter get talking, you will come up twist on these themes. And don’t forget to include the most creative minds in your home – your kids!
Give your kids the best school birthday celebration you can with a lesson in healthy and fun ways to mark their birthday so they will live long and have many, many more!