Parents are free to choose the type of salty snack, sweet treat, and healthy bite, but I am always so appreciative if the snacks that arrive on party day are class friendly.


Assess the Mess Factor

  • When choosing a snack for a class, think about how messy it is to eat and how easy it is to spill. Popcorn, for example, spills easily, and kids drop it on the floor where it often gets ground into pieces by student shoes. Foods with lots of icing are risky too. Cupcakes with heavy icing could easily glob onto the desks or floor, or just get smeared around a child’s face and hands and then get wiped into the classroom furniture. Food that doesn’t crush easily or have heavy toppings work well.



Bite Size is Better

  • Party snacks are supposed to be festive but not provide a whole meal. Individually sized snacks are more appropriate (and easier to serve) at class parties. Bring food that is pre-cut or prepared in a small, single portions. Send mini cupcakes for each child—not full sized. Send small tea sandwiches or tortilla pinwheel cut wraps—not an entire sandwich.
  • Since students like to move around during the parties, and they have limited time for eating, foods that can be eaten with fingers are better. Avoid snacks that need utensils.
  • If you are serving something like a veggie or fruit dip, bring the dips in pre-filled containers. These little veggie dip cups were made with 1-oz. plastic shot glass cups. The veggie dip is spooned in the bottom, and then small pre-cut vegetables were stacked in the top.



Pack it In, Pack it Out

  • Plan to clean up any party mess and take away any food items when you leave. Teacher rooms do not get thorough deep cleans that often, so we appreciate having all food spills and leftovers removed at the end of the party. Teachers like to avoid any bug infestations too, so we try NOT to leave any tempting treats in the classroom for insect friends.
  • Bringing extra trash bags, Clorox wipes, and paper towels to the party is handy and will win you big bonus points.




Teacher Approved Snack Choices (in my classroom)

  • brownie bites
  • doughnut holes (avoid powdered)
  • mini cupcakes (with small amount of icing)
  • cookies (avoid heavy sprinkles)
  • pigs-in-a-blanket
  • finger sandwiches
  • tortilla wrap pinwheels
  • Frito’s
  • Dorito’s
  • potato chips
  • apple slices, grapes, strawberries, pre-made fruit skewers
  • carrot sticks, celery sticks, or any veggie that can be cut into a stick



Guest Contributor: Caitlin Tobin is a mom to two elementary aged children and a teacher. She currently teaches 4th grade but has experience working with children from nursery school up through freshmen in high school. She loves snack foods, crafty projects, and spreadsheets. She is on a mission to help the world choose the perfect teacher gift and writes about many of her ideas at