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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Jan-Feb;44(1):71-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2011.03.144. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Classroom "cupcake" celebrations: observations of foods offered and consumed.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, Brookville, NY 11548, USA.



To describe food and beverage types offered and consumed during classroom celebrations at an elementary school in a low-income, urban community. In addition, to report student intake of fresh fruit provided alongside other party foods.


Observations held during 4 classroom celebrations. Food and beverage items were measured and counted before and after each celebration. Consumption data were recorded in aggregate for the entire classroom and later adjusted to mean intake per student.


Majority of items offered were low-nutrient, energy-dense foods. Mean caloric intake during celebrations ranged from 259 to 455 cal. Fruit provided during 2 of the 4 classroom celebrations resulted in a mean intake of 1 full serving per student.


Caloric intake from low-nutrient, energy-dense foods and beverages offered during classroom celebrations contributed 20% or more of daily caloric needs. However, fresh fruit may be a reasonable addition to the party food table.

Copyright © 2012 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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