Eastern Iowa school district bans birthday snacks to promote hea - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa school district bans birthday snacks to promote healthy habits

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - The Mason City School District has banned birthday snacks in their elementary schools to avoid allergic reactions and promote healthy habits.
A spokesperson for the district said it's part of the district's healthy kids initiative.

The district allows students to celebrate birthdays at school, but students are not allowed to bring food or beverages to share with their classmates.
Instead, the district said birthdays will be celebrated with non-food options, including name recognition on the school announcements, a pencil from the office and classroom recognition such as birthday crowns.

The Cedar Falls School District allows birthday snacks on a child's birthday or half-birthday, as long as the student follows guidelines set forth by his or her teacher.

"I would like to see healthier and healthier things brought in because I know for instance on birthdays our children are celebrating with cakes at home anyway, and so bringing in something that they can celebrate that's not sugary, I would like for that," said Principal of Orchard Hill Elementary School Kim Cross.

Cross said the district does not require healthy snacks for birthdays, but it encourages parents to follow recommendations from the Healthy Kids Act.
She said the district has "Allergy Sensitive Safe Zones" in every building for students with particular allergies.

For example, if a student is allergic to peanuts, Cross said the student's classroom would be designated as a safe zone with no nut products allowed in its doors. In addition, she said if a student has a peanut allergy, a lunch table would be designated as a safe zone.

"We just decided that with the number of allergies that are coming into our buildings, we really can't ban food products because pretty soon we're not going to be allowed to have anything on our school grounds," said Cross.

Meanwhile, the Mason City School District also said balloons or bouquets delivered to school will be held in the office until the end of the day, and that invitations to parties outside of school can only be distributed at school if all students (or all boys or all girls) in the classroom will receive an invitation.
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