“Go online for ideas, or ask a school health coordinator — and get the kids outside or playing games, classroom celebrations don’t have to be food-centric,” Miller said.
In fact, Norman elementary students indicated they’d prefer celebratory social activities with their classmates to eating.
During the 2012/2013 school year, a group of seven students in the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing conducted a small survey of parents and students at Washington Elementary to determine ways to decrease food-related risks in elementary-aged children, discovering a major preference for playtime over snacking.
83.58 percent of Washington’s students indicated they would prefer games and activities over snacks, and 76.9 percent of parents agreed.
“You can’t take a snack home but you can take a craft home, crafts are really fun,” wrote one student.
“Snack time you’re just sitting there, we’re inside a lot already, if you can play with your friends you can climb stuff and get energy out,” another student wrote.
Additionally, surveyed teachers indicated that more than 40 percent of food for classroom parties gets thrown away.
“All you have to do is get those kids outside,” Miller said. “Let them play games, their brains and creativity get a jump-start and their heart rate is increased and they’re active — just get them outside.”
For more information or ideas on healthy lunch alternatives, contact Sunny Miller at email@example.com.