Skip to main content
Elizabeth Duda's picture

As a mother, I want the best for my children. I try to give them opportunities to live a healthy, happy life. This includes limiting the amount of candies and sweets they eat, and trying to make sure their schools keep student health in mind. 

At the beginning of the year, I share my opinion with my children's teachers, principals and PTA/PTO by writing a respectful letter noting that food treats put students suffering from allergies, obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, pre-diabetes or liver disease at risk. The food giver cannot know if the treat fits into the student's diet that day and many young children do not exercise restraint. Also, when candies and treats are presented by a role model, the student thinks it ok to eat the treat. Since approximately 33% of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese, it’s crucial for parents and schools to work together to fight this trend.

Instead of food treats, teachers can let the student act as special helper, have extra recess, choose the book to read to the class, sit next to the teacher, or have a sticker. I don't make a demand, and I don't want my children to be treated differently from any other students. I am very aware that adults providing the food treats are well meaning.

Related: Moms to Your Stations: Five ways to support healthy schools this year!

I find that teachers respond positively and, since they are still establishing classroom routines, are pleased to know upfront parents' preference. I highly appreciate and respect the teachers, principals and PTA/PTO and want my children, and all students, to have the best, healthiest, in-school experience possible.

As a member of the Eat Smart Move More York County (South Carolina) coalition, I realize how important it is for parents to speak up and promote our children's health. Therefore I include below a sample letter that I wrote to my children's teachers requesting they try to minimize treats and sweets in the classroom.

I hope you find this helpful in creating your own letter to your child(ren)’s teacher.


Dear Insert Teacher Name Here,

My child is very excited to attend your class. Given my children’s good experiences in this school so far, it surely will be a great year with you.

As a caring, teaching professional, I know that you value kids and their health, and recognize that you are a role model to your students. As such, I request your consideration of an important matter which I know may be challenging. I would be grateful if you would try to minimize the amount of sweets distributed to students in your classroom.

I have made similar requests in other places where my children also receive sweets from well-meaning adults. These included dance class, swimming, the ice rink, and karate, and last year at school to teachers, classroom volunteers, the bus driver, and other parents and school staff.  

I cannot ask you to ban candy or treats in your classroom, but I would be grateful if you would try to minimize the amount received – perhaps by discouraging parents from bringing them into your classroom (e.g., encourage a quarterly classroom birthday celebration), and not offering them as rewards. I am open to discussing this with you and appreciate your consideration.

Together we can change the lives of children and lower the approximately 33% obesity/overweight rate in the U.S. among those age 6 to 19 years old.    


Thank you,

Your Name



Let's chat!

Have you ever asked your child's teacher to minimize the amount of sweets distributed in the classroom? How did you broach the topic? Please share in a comment so we can all benefit from your experience!


Photo Credit:

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!