joined Cascade. Here's a bit more explanation for new families, and a review for families who have been with us for years.
Cascade Heights strives to teach the whole person, which includes healthy eating and care for the environment. We have--at minimum--a "no junk food" policy, and we strive for actual quality nutrition. By low/no-waste, we want families to take the extra few steps needed to minimize garbage.
Healthy Lunches and Snacks
Young adults work hard all day learning and playing, and they need quality food to sustain their efforts.
Some things to save for after school (this is a nice way of saying it's not allowed at school):
Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, etc. (yes, even "healthy" or sugar-free treats like this). Articles: "Sugar Free" Does Not Equal Healthy, Artificial Sweeteners: Sugar-Free, but at What Cost?
Candy (even around Halloween, Easter, Valentine's Day, etc.)
Soda or juice or juice pouches (even Capri Suns!). Water is the way to go.
Flavored waters, Gatorade, etc.
Gum, mints, etc.
Chocolate, caramel, etc. dips
Flavored corn or potato chips (Doritos, Cheetos, etc.)
So what CAN my kid eat at school!?
Fruits (fresh is best, but dried, etc.)
Sandwiches (with actual protein, not just jam or Nutella)
Leftovers from dinner
Pasta or noodles (with a protein, too!)
Crackers or chips (again, in moderation--there is nothing healthy about eating your weight in baked Goldfish crackers!).
Chicken salad, tuna salad, etc.
Here are some websites with lots of ideas to get you started:
Project Lunch Box (.pdf)
30 Healthy Lunchbox Ideas
Healthy School Lunches and Snacks
Your student should have at minimum each day: a main course, a water bottle, a snack (fruit, veggie, cracker, trail mix, etc.). If you will be using the school lunch program, please be sure to still send along a snack each day. Stay tuned for details about the school lunch program.
What about celebrating my kid's birthday at school?
Think healthy! Some popular ideas: muffins, banana bread, fruit kabobs, watermelon, no sugar added fruit juice popsicles, etc. Please be sure to check with me a few days in advance about what you'd like to bring and when you'd like to bring it.
Low/No-Waste Lunches and Snacks
Our children will be inheriting this planet from us; let's put in a little more effort now to teach them habits that conserve resources and minimize waste.
How this works for lunches and snacks:
Buy a lunch box big enough to hold reusable containers and a reusable water bottle! Have your student write their name on them.
Here's a website to get you started.
"That's easy for you to say, Mrs. Adams!" Yep! I had two kids at Cascade and they got home-made lunches every day.
It is hard to pack a lunch and snacks that are healthy for children and the environment every day; it is another thing that sets Cascade Heights apart from other schools. Thank you for your effort and buy-in! Your 8th grader should be able to pack themselves a healthy lunch with some guidance. If this is something they are not currently doing, it may take a little extra time and explanation, but you're not just teaching them to pack lunch, you're building self confidence and teaching them to plan ahead.
8th graders tend to be hungry all the time. My classroom policy is that they may eat during class IF it is not abused. That means they may have food that fits the health food policy, is not loud or smelly, and does not cause them to be out of their seats wandering around when they should be focused on learning. I want them to listen to their bodies and fulfill their needs. Pre sliced apples and diced cheese was a favorite in class snack last year.