Healthy Birthday Parties in the Classroom - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Healthy Birthday Parties in the Classroom


Cakes, candy and sweets are traditional birthday treats.
But one school is replacing those high cal treats with something else.
And the kids love it.
Reporter Sarah Gustin has the story.

"Dance Party!"
This is how students at Prairie Rose Elementary celebrate a birthday.
(Michelle Svihovec / Prairie Rose Elementary Principal) "It's been awesome. loved by kids. we want kids to feel special on their birthday. I think this makes them feel actually extra special because the kids are like, for so-and-so's birthday we are having this dance party and they are thanking them because it's 10 minutes out of class actually instead of wasting ten minutes eating a cupcake, or cookie." 
Prairie Rose Elementary is the first school in Bismarck to say good-bye to sweets.
This is their second year throwing birthday parties like this---no sugar allowed.
(Joan Knoll / Bismarck Public Schools Dietitian) "There are so many opportunities for them to get high sugar, high fat foods. They could be going to multiple birthdays outside of school and then we also have celebrations in school not just holidays but all kinds of other celebrations." 
Bismarck Public Schools Dietitian Joan Knoll says other schools and teachers are also now throwing dance parties in their classrooms.
Birthday kids take a brochure home and get to decide how they want to celebrate their special day--dancing, ten minutes of extra recess or making a special craft are just a few of the no-sugar choices.
(Joan Knoll / Bismarck Public Schools Dietitian)  "It also gets kids thinking about what they pick. Whatever they pick affects the whole class. If there's a dance party they pick everyone gets to do it. If there is an extra recess all the kids get to go out for extra recess, so then they feel pretty neat about having that as their day." 
The kids like it.
(Samantha & Lily 2nd Graders) "Because instead of eating like four cupcakes, we are going to dance."
And so do the parents.
(Michelle Svihovec / Prairie Rose Elementary Principal) "We have only had positive comments. Thanking that they are glad their kids aren't coming to school and having these cupcakes or the cookies, they would rather have the movement."
A healthy win-win worth dancing for.

Knoll says research also show movement throughout the day helps a child's learning.


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