Provider Health Spotlight on Cindy Hodges


Cindy Hodges, provider, Tioga Early Childhood Development Center, Tioga, Texas

The Problem

Birthday parties. Every time one of the children in the Pre-K class had a birthday, the celebration involved cookies, cupcakes, or cake. The teachers wanted to: 1) help the children learn about healthy snacks and 2) avoid the “sugar high” brought on by traditional birthday treats.

The Solution

A new tradition: healthy birthday parties!

How They Did It

Cindy and the Pre-K teachers asked parents to send in healthy snacks on their child’s birthday. The class now celebrates birthdays with treats such as fresh fruit, veggies and dip, or cheese and crackers. Some parents have opted for non-food celebrations, including Play-Doh and glow-in-the-dark parties. Those have been big hits, too.

The Results

Happiness all around. The children love the different foods that have been brought in. The teachers feel satisfaction in knowing that they’re teaching the children better eating habits. Classroom management is easier, too; the children get energy from the healthy snacks, but not the excess energy that can follow eating too much sugar. And parents are tickled with this new, healthy initiative.

On Cindy’s Wish List

A go-to fund or birthday supplies for children who, for whatever reason, don’t have the opportunity to bring in healthy snacks for their birthday.


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