HSD Offers New Program for Birthday Treats in Classrooms

In light of the district's new nutritional standards, parents are encouraged to use a new service from the Child Nutrition Department. Will you use it?

The recently announced that beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, it will 

New Program for Classroom Treats

If you’re a parent who likes to send treats to class for your child’s birthday, you will need to make sure that they meet the Eat Smart Advanced Guidelines that have been adopted by the district.

While that might complicate your plans, the district has added a new program that will make it more convenient, plus help ensure that your treats meet the new nutritional standards.

Parents can now order birthday treats from the district’s Child Nutrition Department by calling 314-953-5990 or their kids’ school cafeteria.

Treat options, all of which meet the guidelines, include sour blue raspberry Italian Ice, chocolate sherbet, reduced-fat white cheddar popcorn, apple slices with low-fat caramel and grape or apple juice.

Napkins, plates and utensils are included and will be delivered to the student’s class during their lunch period. Early childhood students will have their treats delivered directly to the classroom.

Parents Respond

Melina Piece-Collison currently has two of her four kids enrolled with the Hazelwood District. She said that at first she was upset with the guidelines, but after rethinking it, she’s actually happy about them.

“The district isn’t doing this because they want to be mean or controlling,” she said. “They are trying to do what’s best for our children in every aspect while they’re in their care.”

She said that the nutritional changes in the district are just one more step in the right direction—but when it comes to birthday snacks, she’d take a more creative route.

“As for the birthday snacks, little treat bags with puzzles, police man badges, rings and glow sticks will have to do,” she said. “Parents should find a way to compromise.”

Errin Neuner, who has two children, said that she wouldn’t use the district’s new option for birthday snacks.

“I think it’s a fun time to make something special with your child for him or her to bring in for their birthday,” she said in a Facebook post. “It’s just not the same bonding moment when you order it, especially from the school cafeteria.”

Neuner added that she shouldn’t need to be responsible for other people’s kids, either.

“If it’s a case of other parents complaining about their overweight kids, healthy eating habits start in the home,” she said. “I don’t think a treat day is going to make a difference.”

Other parents feel differently, of course. One Hazelwood mom said that the pure convenience factor would be enough to lead her to utilize the new service.

What do you think about the new guidelines? Will you use the new program for classroom treats? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Robert A. Williams July 18, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I wonder if the people who are complaining about this actually has control of their kid. You just found out that she eats a big pretzel & cheese? How about packing her lunch or giving the school saying, "I don't want my kid to be a kid so give her broccoli, carrots and beets with a glass of soy milk." This is a step in the right direction so stop slamming HSD for attempting to make things better.
Angela Atkinson July 19, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Robert, I hear what you're saying, but I think the point that normalicy and Patty were making is that the district keeps making these positive changes, yet they are still serving things like pretzels and cheese and even nachos for entrees at lunch--and pop tarts, chocolate muffins and full-sugar cereals for breakfasts. As the mother of two HSD students, I can relate. And as much as we'd like them to make healthier choices, we can't dictate what they choose from the choices they're given. We put the money on their lunch accounts, and we can ask them to skip the sugary drinks or the fat-filled desserts, but we aren't there to enforce it, and kids will be kids. Even if you choose to send a lunch, you can't be sure that your child will eat it (or ONLY it, in some cases.) I think parents hope to see the positive changes all the way across the dietary board, rather than just in certain areas.
Jeannine July 21, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I find it funny they are so concerned about children having a special treat for a birthday party, (kids have been doing that long before the obesity problem in America), yet my son's Elementary school takes recess away as a punishment for everything from not sitting still before school starts, to my son's shirt being untucked in 3rd grade, oh, my mistake, he was forced to sit out of gym for that one. A cupcake won't hurt you. No physical activity will.
stacey July 21, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Jeannine, I have been thinking the same exact thing. That punishment has been around for ever, and needs to change. All the research, esp w/young boys, points to hands on learning & physical outlets to improve learning, prevent obesity, and to ensure less anger, etc from the kids! My child's school would make them stay in for recess for the tiniest things then say after that kid's were not sitting still, etc. Well, DUH they aren't adults, and can't sit still for 8hrs a day, and it does NOT mean they have ADD or ADHD and need to be medicated like 80% of America's young males!! I know a little of topic, but it's all integrated together!!
Jeannine July 21, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Stacey, Thanks for agreeing with my comment. I completely agree with yours as well and love the "duh", because it seems so obvious, doesn't it? There is sooo much research available, (especially regarding boys), that everybody can find by a simple google search. "taking away recess as punishment" for example. ALL experts agree it should never be done. Regardless of my giving the school data and research to support it, they refuse to change. Even dropout rates are higher, based according to experts, on the fact that boys really dislike school. Well, duh! They receive 90% of the office referrals, get recess and gym taken away, and essentially can't move or socialize all day. The lunchroom has even become the new "quiet zone" or else... I hope you will visit my website jordansadvocate.com. Anybody can contact me who has a concern. I think there is a real problem in my son's school district. My mission is to change our school system for the better.


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