Plenty of parents and kids like to wind down after a long week with an after-school treats, and eager to accommodate and take the opportunity to raise some funds, many schools and PTAs run regular Friday tuck shops which offer a wide variety of tasty goodies including sweets, cakes, biscuits and even ice cream.
A little bit of what you fancy…
… isn’t bad in moderation. However, the government is putting increasing pressure on schools to cut back on the amount of sugar that pupils consume.
And it is easy to see why when you consider the following statistics reported by the BBC :
- Children are currently consuming THREE times more sugar every day than they should, according to experts.
- Currently 1 in 5 children are overweight or obese when they start primary. This rises to 1 in 3 by the time they reach secondary education.
You might be feeling resentful of a “Nanny State”, but sadly an overwhelming amount of studies show a definite link between sugar consumption and weight gain/obesity. And obesity has been cited as a major cause of some serious,chronic health conditions including type II diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.
For most parents, keeping our kids healthy and helping them form good eating habits is important. However it can be hard to encourage them to make healthier choices when unhealthy treats often look more appealing or are more readily accessible.
I scream, you scream...
Yep, we know Ice Cream Friday or Friday Cake Sales are fun, yummy and often a great PTA fundraiser… but at what cost to our children’s health if it’s now the norm rather than an occasional treat? It can be hard to avoid tantrums in the school playground and make a sharp exit…. and that’s just the mums!
So what do parents think?
We’re running a school parent poll to see what people think about Ice Cream / Cake Sale Fridays. Share it with parents at your school, or consider running your own for more specific and localised results .
Or.. you could keep doing what you’re doing and not open that can of worms… (Eeesh, we’re not suggesting that as a Friday treat!)
But eventually, your PTA needs to think about the part it plays – it’s kind of tricky to sit on the fence forever..
Ideally there would be a happy medium, making it easier for the children, either at your school or in your home, to make better choices and get some of their 7-a-day without feeling like you’ve killed all their joy.
So we searched high and low for some awesome ways that you can incorporate FUN healthy snacks into your Friday (or any-day) treats. Hope you’ll find these useful.
Here’s one lady who is clearly pleased her school is turning ‘Donut Day’ into ‘Fruity Friday’ in order to embrace healthy treat options.
There are plenty of fantastic fruity treats that you can sell or give away too. You could even get pupils involved in making them if it ties-in with their learning.
Check out Ysgol Maes Owen School pupils making some delicious-looking fruit kebabs:
These chocolate dipped fruit cones are a good compromise between naughty and nice:
Summer Sweet-But-Healthy Treats
As the warmer weather (hopefully!) begins to roll in, many schools and PTAs, sell ice pops and ice cream cones after school on a Friday.
Some shop bought ice pops and frozen yoghurts and are fairly harmless, with limited sugar/sweetener and only natural flavourings. Hugely popular on a steaming hot day and a pretty quick and profitable win:
If that gets boring, it’s more effort but you could try making your own tasty fruit-filled frozen popsicles:
What about these frozen pineapple rings?:
You could do exactly the same with chunks of melon, mango or papaya too. In response to the recent epidemic in home juicing, many supermarkets have started doing frozen bags of chopped fruit.
Tip out a few chunks each in disposable (eco-friendly!) cups, and hand out with toothpicks. That should cool the kids down…
What do you think of these awesome fruity frozen yoghurt pops as an alternative to regular ice cream:
Swap out ice cream for deliciously healthy frozen yoghurt and serve up cones:
Healthy cake alternatives
We all know that a bake sale is a great PTA fundraiser, try this flourless, butterless, no-added-sugar chocolate cake recipe, or choose from these 20 sugar-free cupcake recipes.
Low sugar drinks
A fruity smoothie is a fantastic healthy drink, and with their bright blends of colours, they look like a great treat too.
It can be a bit pricey and time consuming to produce en masse, so it depends on you are trying to keep things cheap and cheerful, or want to offer a luxury option.
Gotta love these peach melba sunrise and strawberry mango smoothies:
Slushies are popular with the kids, but they don’t have to be full of sugar to be tasty.
Check out these gorgeous watermelon, grape and raspberry slushies — as refreshing as they are delicious:
These ideas can help you prove to your children that a healthy choice doesn’t have to mean a boring choice!:
Over to you...
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on having healthy options for treat days.
Is your PTA already on a healthy course? Or perhaps not, but have we possibly persuaded you now to consider healthy alternatives to your current sugary treat days?
[Yikes first Brexit, and now this – are we ready for another split vote on #IceCreamGate?!]
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