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Treat Boxes for Sugar-Free Kids ?

A Treat Box is basically a Tupperware container filled with non-perishable treats. This box can be kept at school, day-care, summer camp, even a best friend’s home and offered to your child whenever there is a food item that he or she can’t eat (i.e. gluten, dairy) or that you don’t want him or her to eat (i.e. sugar, artificial dye).

Treat Boxes are useful for celebrations, birthday parties, and holiday gatherings. When my son started kindergarten, I was surprised how often sugary items were handed out. I did not want him eating any nor did I want him to feel excluded. I felt rattled because I never knew when a sugary item was going to be handed out. There was no line of communication in this way. Had I known I’d have done my best to make a replica of whatever was being served. 

I needed to figure out how to prevent my child from eating sugar at school. Day after day he came home with a blue tongue or a hyper look in his eyes. Making a Treat Box solved our issue, without my son feeling deprived or excluded

Our box gives me peace of mind, knowing my son is enjoying something special alongside his friends. ~ H.M. 

Treat Box Ideas

This box of goodies can be decorated with stickers and filled with lots of fun stuff, get creative!!

  • Fruit leather
  • Meat sticks
  • Chia seed bars
  • 50 cent pieces
  • Fruit-sweetened gummies
  • Stickers
  • Raw chocolates 
  • Gum sweetened with xylitol
  • Cookies made with lakanto 
  • Bags of salty almonds
  • Packets of roasted nori
  • Other trinkets 

Your child’s Treat Box can be brought to school/day-care/camp as long as there’s a teacher or adult willing to keep it somewhere accessible. My son’s kindergarten teacher kept “Ben’s Box” in the classroom closet and brought it out when there was a food served he couldn’t eat.

Artificial Food Dye

I made sure to tape the list of foods to avoid on this box. The teacher also agreed to keep a container of naturally fruit-sweetened popsicles (I bought/labeled with my son’s name) in the classroom dorm fridge because I didn’t want him to eat bright red artificially flavored/colored popsicles they normally handed out.

Happy, Healthy Kid

My son loved his Treat Box throughout his elementary years. I remember one day in 2nd grade he came home all excited that his friends wanted a Treat Box too 🙂 We had fun going to the toy store and local co-op to pick out things for his box. We kept this routine up until 6th grade, when I felt he was able to make his own food choices.

Happy, Healthy Mom

In my opinion, it’s far trickier to keep kids “sugar-free” than keeping them gluten-free. The fact that we avoided both in our family didn’t help and certainly didn’t make me the most favorite parent in the classroom. Sure, I may not have been the teacher’s pet but it was important to me that anyone who cared for my son understand our dietary values.

In this way, I was able to feel comfortable about letting him go to school without me there to navigate this part with him. I know all too many health conscious moms, or moms of kids with mild to severe food allergies, who pull their kids out of school entirely because of the lack of food awareness in public schools.

Be Proactive

My hope is that more parents, like myself, are proactive about changing the food system in our public schools, about keeping kids “sugar-free” in school. Where I live in Vermont, school gardens are cropping up and teachers are much more aware of food allergens; especially with peanut allergies on the rise. 

Peace of Mind

When there’s a celebration at school, camp, or elsewhere you can know that your child will not be left out in a group activity that involves a sugary item; that he or she will have a Treat Box to choose something special from. The teacher or adult can let you know when this box needs to be filled, or added to for more variety.

A blessing in a box! I bring treats for my kids when we go somewhere, but now they each have a treat box at school. Thanks for a great idea?? ~ A.S.

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May all bellies be happy!

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One reply on “Treat Boxes for Sugar-Free Kids ?”

Tara, it is fun to see your fantastic childhood imagination evolve into the world of being equally creative in the world of food allergies. I am so proud of you growing so beautifully in this area. You are helping others learn skills and build confidence as they chew away (ha!) at their own food issues.

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