Best. Birthday. Ever.

Discover three inventive approaches to surprising and delighting students on their special day.

When school districts first began crafting and implementing local wellness policies almost 20 years ago, as part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2004, proposed limits placed on foods brought from home for classroom parties generated a firestorm of criticism from parents, dubbed the “cupcake wars” by the media. (The irony of this pushback from parents, who tend to be among the most vocal critics of items served in school meal programs, was not lost on school nutrition professionals.) The backlash prompted many districts to relax standards or exempt classroom parties from the nascent policies. But it also prompted some enterprising school nutrition operations to pitch their services, offering to cater celebratory occasions with menu items that complied with policy