About 30% of children and teens in America are overweight. As a parent, you have every right to be concerned about what sugary, fattening fundraisers are doing to kids. One thing is for sure: helping schools shouldn't harm your child's health. Fortunately, raising money doesn't have to clog arteries. Try these 5 healthy fundraisers instead.
The Sneaky Zucchini Bake Sale Traditional baked goodies are loaded with sugar, saturated fat, and white flour, but healthier alternatives are possible if all volunteer bakers are on board. Applesauce, mashed bananas, or yogurt can substitute for some or all the oil in many recipes. Finely shredded zucchini goes undetected in cookies and banana bread. Heart-healthy oats, nuts, and whole grain flours can add fiber and nutrition. Although it's very possible to make delicious yet healthy treats for your fundraiser, it's still a good idea to test sneaky recipes on your kids before making a double batch for the sale!
The Strawberry Soiree If you'd rather not take the sneaky chef route, you can still throw a lighter, fruit-themed bake sale. A strawberry soiree could include chocolate dipped strawberries, fresh strawberry crisp, and strawberry yogurt parfaits. Choose one type of fruit, or include them all! While some butter and sugar are inevitable, a bake sale full of fresh fruit also means fiber and vitamins for everyone.
Candy-less Sales Candy sells well to other kids (and adults!), so it's not surprising that so many fundraisers are centered around it. Unfortunately, lollipops, cakes, cookie dough, and chocolate bars are nutritional wastelands. What can kids sell instead? Try a sugar-less alternative, such as candles, flower bulbs, soap, pencils, gift cards, and magazines.
The Non-Cake Walk A cake walk is basically a raffle, so you won't have any trouble selling tickets to a cake-less cake walk as long as you still have great prizes. Instead of cakes, offer things like passes to a skating rink, tickets to a local baseball game, toys, and gift certificates. Ask local businesses if they would be willing to donate prizes to your healthy fundraiser.
[Whole Grain] Spaghetti Night What do pancake breakfasts, spaghetti nights, and pizza lunches all have in common? All of them could use more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to be healthy. Start by choosing whole grains over white: buying whole grain spaghetti and substituting whole wheat flour for some or all of the white flour in pizza crusts and pancakes. Then put extra vegetables into tomato sauce, top pizzas with vegetables, and serve pancakes with berries, sliced bananas, and fresh fruit puree instead of sugary syrups. Check out more tips to get kids to love vegetables.
Almost any unhealthy fundraiser can be given a healthy makeover. Get started today with our healthy fundraising ideas and help the next generation -- and their schools -- thrive!