School sells healthy snacks for class parties.
As school districts try to hone the healthy eating message embedded in most district wellness policies, one area that often comes in for parental backlash is the classroom party.
With its traditional sugary and fat-laden fare ranging from cookies and cupcakes to chips and soda, these events often seem to go out of their way to celebrate nutritional vacuity. But try telling a mom or dad who want to help their little one celebrate their special day with their classmates that they can’t bring in sweet treats.
Solanco (PA) Schools faces this same dilemma, and they’ve decided to approach the matter with the philosophy that it is better to incent people to behave than to force them to. To that end, parents in Solanco can still do the traditional class parties if they wish, but the school food service department offers an alternative that is more convenient and, chances are, less costly.
“We operate the vending in the high school,” explains Food Service Director David Haines, “and we offer some of these same items to parents to give out in classroom parties. Because we get much better pricing than they could get if they were buying treats at a typical retail store, our products are significantly less expensive. Also, because we can deliver the food directly to the classroom, it is much more convenient for a busy parent.”
Sounds like a great deal, and since the high school vending machines only offer healthier choices, the classroom party menu is limited to nutritious options like fruits and fruit snacks, string cheese, Nutri-Grain bars, sherbert and fruit juices.
Though the program was only in its first weeks when FM talked to Haines, he said orders were already coming in, giving the school’s wellness policy a definite boost.