Initially implemented at Murphy Elementary in September of 2015

Just a reminder that if you choose to send in birthday “treats”, please select  non-food related items (or order from the PTC Smoothie Program).  Food items, even healthy options, will be sent home.

Ideas for Parents: Non-food Ideas for Birthday Celebrations at School

We all know that birthdays are important to every child and that kids like to celebrate with their classmates. However, sending in a food treat to the classroom to celebrate can exclude those children who have food allergies, diabetes or other dietary restrictions. According to the Centers for Disease Control (2011) allergies have increased more than 20% among American children since the mid 1990’s. Many teachers will also admit that they would rather not have to deal with food in the classroom, especially cupcakes (very messy!).

Food rewards, especially candy and baked goods, are often used because they are inexpensive and students like them. It is important to understand, however, the potential harmful effects that using food, even ―healthy food has on our youth.

Obesity among children has tripled over the past 20 years and has become a national concern. Health problems related to obesity include diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

What is even more important to think about are the long-term psychological effects of using food for reward, comfort and instantaneous gratification. What many people don’t realize is that the number of adults rewarding a child with food within a single day can be staggering in our culture. Even if your child, or your children are not currently overweight, please consider the following:new circle logo.png

There are many disadvantages to using food as a reward:

The backside of this sheet contains some suggestions for non-food related items.

PTC Smoothie Information will go home in the Fall.

This information is also online at:


Below are some non-food item suggestions for your child’s birthday celebration at school.  Always check with your child’s teacher first to see what he/she finds acceptable for their classroom and be sure to provide advanced notice to make sure that they can fit the birthday plans into their schedule.

The following is a list of options for non food rewards in the classroom. It is by no means a complete list. Many additional ideas for non food rewards exist. Instead of sending in candy, cupcakes, or other food items for birthday treats, please consider the following more inventive ideas, many of which “loop” back to helping with literacy, writing, physical activity at home and at school.

PTC Smoothie Information will be sent home in the Fall.

This information is also online at: