28 answers

Looking for Alternative to Cupcakes for School.

Hi! This is my first year with a child in school and boy is it different. My daughter is on Pre-K. Everytime there is a birthday the child's parent brings cupcakes for the snack that day. I don't have a problem with this but it is sometimes 2-3 times a week. Since we don't celebrater birthdays I try to do a special treat for other occasions, like someone moving, the teacher coming back from leave, 100th day of school, etc. So to break up the cupcake trend I want to do another kind of treat/snack. Any ideas? Something the kids will love and is easy. One thing I was thinking of was chocolate dipped fruit pieces. I would love to hear what some of you do for special occasions at school.

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Thank you all for the great suggestions! I think the fruit or rice krispy treat would be easy and fun, easpecially piping on some icing. I was thinking about speaking something out, like "Welcome Back". The teacher is coming back from maternity leave in a few weeks and I thought it would be nice to celebrate her comeing back. As for why we don't observe bithdays. We are Jehovah's Witnesses and do not observe any of the secular or religious holidays. Look up the origin of birthdays and their celebration in the Encyclopedia Americana. We do have lots of play dates and parties for the kids and they love getting "just because we love you" presents. I really want to be involved in her class and I think doing things like this outside of holidays and birthdays is a way to still be involved and make the kids feel special.
Thanks again for all the suggestions!

Featured Answers

How about rice crispy treats? They are quick and easy, kids love them, and they can be shaped or decorated for any occasion. And since they're made from cereal, there is at least a ~little~ nutritional value there lol! You could get a leaf cookie cutter and shape them for autumn and even pipe an orange (icing) or brown (melted chocolate) outline on top. Or snowmen or snowflakes with white icing for winter... It's a lot quicker than baking cookies or cupcakes too!

1 mom found this helpful

Rice crispy treats are great and you can substitute the rice crispies with healthier cereals like cheerios or Kix...

I've made angel food cake in cupcakes and topped them with a little whipped cream and fresh strawberries before... a little healthier and less sugar than traditional cupcakes. My mother in law ordered a skewered fruit arrangement for my son's 2nd bday for his class and that was a huge hit. I think you can easily make them at home with grapes, some melon, pineapple, etc.

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How about rice crispy treats? They are quick and easy, kids love them, and they can be shaped or decorated for any occasion. And since they're made from cereal, there is at least a ~little~ nutritional value there lol! You could get a leaf cookie cutter and shape them for autumn and even pipe an orange (icing) or brown (melted chocolate) outline on top. Or snowmen or snowflakes with white icing for winter... It's a lot quicker than baking cookies or cupcakes too!

1 mom found this helpful

There is a book called <I>Favorite Brand Name Classroom Treats</I> that is full of great ideas, and not all of them are sweets! It has recipes for snack mixes, sandwiches, dipped pretzels, hot dogs wrapped in breadsticks, and even "taco cups" as well as your typical brownies/cakes/cupcakes/cookies. One idea I liked is something they call "Stuffed Bundles" which is made from a can of pizza dough, ham or turkey, and cheese. Basically you cut up the pizza dough into 12 rectangles, fill each with ham and cheese or turkey and cheese, wrap up and pop into a muffin tin and bake. If you want more details or need a recipe, send me a note. Or you may be able to get the book from your library. Good luck!

What about frozen friut pops or frozen bananas?

My kids preschool decided to limited birthday parties to one day a month. The first Friday of every month is designated birthday day and the parents whose children have birthdays that month get together to plan the party. It takes a little "working in advance" but then you can do cool things, like chipping in and buying pizza for all the kids for lunch instead of bringing their lunch. Or having thier craft as the snack. Get pretzles and cheese and make a pirate ship of their own, etc. We always have cupcakes too, but then it is only once a month and not 7 times!

There are great websites online for creative snacks, I will say I like the chocolate dipped fruit thing, but that is because I absolutely love white chocolate :)

Perhaps sending those suggestions for school will help out, and then those parents like yourself who do not celebrate birthdays won't be "left out" you can just choose a month to help out and it doesn't allow your children to feel left out because they didn't celebrate their birthday at school.

White and dark chocolate dipped pretzels, with or without sprinkles are good.

The 100 days celebration could be 100 cheerios or raisins or goldfish, mixed.

Ants on a log (celery, pb, raisins)

Anything different shapes, graham cracker (Car),icing or pb,
marshmallow (wheels), animal cracker (animal or driver)

Always a hit- fresh fruit skewers. I get fresh strawberries, grapes, star fruit and a melon of some sort. Put four or five pieces on each skewer. Then cut a canteloupe in half, lay it flat and stick the skewers in teh outside of the melon. Great display and there are never any leftovers!

Something store-bought and relatively healthy- Gogurts from the yogurt section of the grocery store.

Fruit is always a good idea. Just out of curiosity why don't you celebrate birthdays?

My daughter's elementary school does not allow anything "homemade" for snacks or birthday treats so it MUST be store bought. A big favorite for a treat is yogurt covered raisins. They can be found in individual sized boxes right next to the boxed raisins OR many stores have them in those containers where you can scoop out what you want and they sell them for so much $ per pound. I REALLY liked the suggestion about having ONE birthday celebration in the classroom per month for everyone celebrating a birthday that month, this saves, time, money and gets the parents cooperating together. Also several minds and ideas are better than one as evidenced on mamasource!

When I used to teach at a preschool, it was always a big hit when a parent brought Dunkin Donut Munchkins. I recommend either all or no chocolate because if you get a mix the kids will all fight over who gets the chocolate ones

Rice Krispie treats w/ melted chocolate chips on top! Easy and yummy. =)

One other idea is popcorn.
Make it in advance (or buy the bagged kind) and divide it up into treat bags. Just be sure the kids have access to something to drink, LOL. If you want to bring juiceboxes or something to go with it, that's fine... I always just bought a big pack of the kiddie sized water bottles. My daughter doesn't drink any of the juicebox things and the other kids don't need the extra sugar either... just be sure to chill it a little..

Hi T., There are a lot of snacks kids love. What about gingerbread cookies, or jell-o fruit cups. There are a lot of things you can do. Go to food.com and look up snacks for kids. Good hunting, M. H.

Just curious as to why you don't celebrate birthdays....if you celebrate things like the 100th day of school?

Totally not being snarky...I'm just interested.
Thanks.

I don't think you need to dip the fruit in chocolate. Children love fruit if it is attractively cut and displayed. I love Costco's produce and often bring fruit to events where my teens were assigned to bring cookies. Amazing how my platter of grapes (cut into small bunches) or sliced oranges is among the first plates to empty!

Simple finger sized cut fruit... soaked in OJ if needed to keep it from browning is gobbled up by everyone regardless of age

most kids love rice crispy treats and they are easy enough. you can even do them with different cereal. google cereal treats like rice crispies and see what comes up.

chocolate dipped fruit sounds good, i know the bananas are

Rice crispy treats are great and you can substitute the rice crispies with healthier cereals like cheerios or Kix...

You don't have to bring treats--how about a grab bag of gifts from the dollar store? Or buy packets of coloring cards and let every child get one.

still not real sure why JW don't celebrate b-days? I guess the holidays thing kinda makes sense (not quite but...) What would be the difference between welcoming back a teacher from maternity leave (which technically involves a birhtday) and wishing someone a happy birthday- technically you are still celebrating (using food and doing it in a social atmosphere) Really just want to learn- not being mean or anything. Plus doing all those other events would seem to add up too as far as treats are concerned- they are not really planned so anybody anytime could be "celebrating something".

Have you considered brownies? I wasn't sure if you just didn't like the sweets, or were sick of only cupcakes. Brownies are still fun because they can be decorated with icing and sprinkles to make them personalized. Ice cream is fun too and can be personalized as well. I like foods that are activities. My mom used to make grilled cheese and let us cut grilled cheese shapes with cookie cutters. Hope this helps.

Hi. I don't know if healthy muffins are too close to cupcakes for you, but you could make banana muffins for instance...

Hi T., I have 4 kids and know all about the cupcake thing. Anyway, my son is in 2nd grade and his Birthday is this Saturday, The kids are having a Halloween Party and a lot of parents are going to help. There are morning activities and afternoon activities and we had to choose which we wanted to attend. I chose the morning as I have a little one at home that naps at noon.

I also want to celebrate my son's birthday tomorrow. So I am doing Halloween Donuts. It is sweet, the colors will be pretty for Halloween and it will still make my son feel extra special to celebrate with the class. Being only 9am I thought donuts suited and I ran it by the teacher last week and she took it was a great idea!!!!

I think fruit is a good and healthy idea!!!!

Some tips............... Make sure you bring enough to share with the teacher/teachers as they always enjoy a treat. Also some kids may want 2 of whatever you bring in. Another thing is I try to limit the choice. Like I ONLY am doing glaze donuts with Halloween sprinkles. This way there is NO fighting with who wants what. Everyone gets the same thing.

Another idea (not to do with school). Since my son's Birthday is the day after Halloween and the children are going to get their FILL of candy the night before. For his party bags the next day I am NOT doing candy. I am actually doing BOOKS. I am doing books for grade 2 level reading. I think it will be a great hit for the parents but I am not to sure if the kids will be happy when their open their bags........lol. But I put the idea to my son first and he thought it was a great idea.

So sometimes something different can be a great HIT!!!! Good luck. Lisa

Maybe making sandwiches and then using a fun cookie cutter to make them in fun shapes. Love the kabob ideas...I saw that in parents magazine a bit ago and thought it was great for all types of gatherings. You can make fruit ones, cheese and meat ones, etc.

You dont celebrate birthdays? Why is that? Just curious!

Brownies may be a good alternative treat, and they can be made a bit healthier when you substitute things like applesauce for oil. You could always bring different sliced up veggies with ranch dip, or maybe a fruit tray. If you wanted non-food items, you could go poke around your local dollar store for little treat items.

Candy or carmel apples on a stick.
Sold at supermarkets as a kit.
Easy and healthy.
Not just candy or carmel but a good way to introduce a fruit.
If not, buy chocolate you can melt over banana halfs.
Those are yummy to put wooden sticks at bottom of half of a banana pieces and pour chocolate that turns hard in minutes.
Hersheys taste best.

Have fun!
Evangelist S. f.c.
Usa

Hi Terry,

My daughter isn't crazy about cupcakes, and I noticed that most of the kids were eating the icing then throwing the rest out. What I did for her birthday; I bought Reynolds aluminum shapes (stars for her) and sugar cookie dough. I baked the sugar cookies in the forms, then when they cooled took them out. We used cookie icing (from the grocery store) to decorate them. The icing sets so you can stack them the next morning for transport. The kids in her pre-k class ate the whole thing and loved them. I baked the cookies a little thick so they were soft, not crunchy. Another treat the kids seem to really like are fruit kabobs. You can get kabob sticks with all kinds of things from party city, then thread chunks of fresh fruit on each one, cut the sharp tip off with scissors, and I haven't seen a kid turn down one yet.

I've made angel food cake in cupcakes and topped them with a little whipped cream and fresh strawberries before... a little healthier and less sugar than traditional cupcakes. My mother in law ordered a skewered fruit arrangement for my son's 2nd bday for his class and that was a huge hit. I think you can easily make them at home with grapes, some melon, pineapple, etc.

Hi!

I agree with the Fruit!! You'll be a BIG HIT! They love it. They get cupcakes and cookies all the time - its no longer a treat. Finger fruit is a winner! (Thanks for the tip about soaking it in OJ to stop browning!)

I was thinking the rice krispy treats too. Cookies. Love the idea of chocolate dipped fruit. You can get a cookbook geared toward kids with lots of ideas of making food look like something different. Kebabs are a huge hit with kids. You can put anything on a stick and they go for it. Just make sure to cut the sharp part off so they don't start poking themselves or each other.
Get a mini muffin pan and you can do all sorts of bite sized treats. Have fun with it.

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