Friends Around the World

Food Guidelines

Healthy, well-rested, fed and exercised students are better able to learn and succeed in school. We want to make sure that our use of food in class supports student success and is providing a scientifically-supported message about nutrition. We have had several diabetic students and currently have multiple children in our school with (in some cases potentially fatal) nut, egg, dairy, gluten, and sugar allergies and we need to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for them. To that end, Escondido School is adopting three simple school-wide guidelines for food in class.

  1. No candy, soda or juice in class. This means no candy, soda or juice offered in class by teachers (including travelling and substitute teachers), by other students, or by parents.
  2. Limiting sweet treats to once a month.  We encourage educationally-appropriate celebrations of all kinds (Thanksgiving, Cinco de Mayo, completion of a project, etc.). If they include food, we would like these events to feature healthy food choices. Therefore, a maximum of only one item at one celebration a month may be in a desert/sugary category (fresh fruit is a great alternative!).
  3. If a child has a serious allergy to a food, that food should not be served in that student’s class that year. Children with potentially life-threating allergies cannot be endangered by, or excluded from, shared classroom activities.

Birthday ideas

Birthdays can be combined as a monthly celebration, but we would like to discourage the practice of honoring students’ birthdays with sugary treats. Some alternative ideas:

  • Bringing a book that the student (or parent or teacher) reads to class
  • Learn a new song
  • Teach the class a new game
  • Have a special birthday hat
  • Do a special activity with the class for 15 minutes
  • Give students free time

These are staff-approved guidelines for use in all classrooms. Individual teachers may augment them with additional class policies to further encourage healthy food practices. More suggestions at Michele Obama’s Let’s Move, initiative: www.letsmove.gov. See also: http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/healthy_school_celebrations.pdf