No Sweet Treat Allowed for Birthdays at School? No Problem!

With the start of a new school year, comes new teachers, new friends and new policies. Williamson County Schools implemented a new policy on celebrating a child’s birthday in school excluding sweet treats. While parents have often debated the best way to celebrate a child’s birthday with classmates, it has been difficult to avoid the pull from the birthday child requesting cupcakes or donuts on their special day. 

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I participated in our wellness committee at our Elementary school and went to the meeting at the Williamson County Offices. When my oldest son was in 2nd grade, the Wellness Coordinator (aka our gym teacher) at our school asked me to help provide alternative ideas to the constant stream of donuts and cupcakes coming through the doors. I sent a questionnaire asking parents to send in their ideas thinking we can put it all together as part of a Birthday Book. Few questionnaires came back simply because there were few alternatives. Besides the typical suggestions from pencils to reading a special book to the class, there was not a lot of solutions.

Personally, I was never drawn to bring pencils simply because that’s on my to-do list for back to school shopping and doesn’t seem like it fits on the birthday party planning to-do sheet. Another suggestion is reading a special book to the class. My kid’s classes had regular times when parents came in to read for the class which was a sweet, special time but may not fall on their birthday and didn’t seem like the right fit either.

One alternative I tried was making a “Happy Birthday Will” shirt for his friends to sign. I was excited to hear how it went at school on his big day only to realize he was embarrassed to ask his friends to sign his shirt so it wasn’t quite the Birthday Celebration for him. 

Once I read the new Williamson County policy, I knew there was a need and had a fun idea of how to fill it! In place of a child getting embarrassed asking classmates to sign a keepsake, an adorable puppy can take that place! 

Pepper the Puppy is excited to celebrate a child’s birthday and brings a message with a card for classmates to sign to the classroom. Pepper the Puppy has a picture holder ready for the birthday child’s picture around Pepper’s collar. Pepper the Puppy asks classmates to join in the celebration by adding sweet wishes to the card for the birthday child.  

In place of handing out cupcakes to each classmate, we’ve made party packs for each child!  Party Pack Mazes is another item available through Beyond the Cupcake Gifts line. The Pack includes 20 mazes in individual bags with a birthday sticker for the birthday child to pass out. With the large variation in class sizes, parents can purchase additional mazes too. 

There are additional Plush Animals joining Pepper the Puppy to help celebrate birthdays at school as well as a greater selection of Party Packs are in the works for the future!

Bring Birthday smiles to your child at school without any sweet treats involved! 


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