Provider Health Spotlight on Cindy Hodges

June 21, 2016


Cindy Hodges, provider, Tioga Early Childhood Development Center, Tioga, Texas

The Problem

Birthday parties. Every time one of the children in the Pre-K class had a birthday, the celebration involved cookies, cupcakes, or cake. The teachers wanted to: 1) help the children learn about healthy snacks and 2) avoid the “sugar high” brought on by traditional birthday treats.


The Solution

A new tradition: healthy birthday parties!

How They Did It

Cindy and the Pre-K teachers asked parents to send in healthy snacks on their child’s birthday. The class now celebrates birthdays with treats such as fresh fruit, veggies and dip, or cheese and crackers. Some parents have opted for non-food celebrations, including Play-Doh and glow-in-the-dark parties. Those have been big hits, too.

marcies_class_march_20161The Results

Happiness all around. The children love the different foods that have been brought in. The teachers feel satisfaction in knowing that they’re teaching the children better eating habits. Classroom management is easier, too; the children get energy from the healthy snacks, but not the excess energy that can follow eating too much sugar. And parents are tickled with this new, healthy initiative.

On Cindy’s Wish List

A go-to fund or birthday supplies for children who, for whatever reason, don’t have the opportunity to bring in healthy snacks for their birthday.


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Topics: Best Practices, Health & Safety

Krista Scott

Written by Krista Scott

Krista Scott is an experienced child health expert working at the forefront of policy, advocacy and equity as the current Senior Director for Child Care Health Policy at CCAoA. For over 15 years, Ms. Scott has worked in public health and education, primarily in non-profit and government agencies, where she has honed her expertise in early childhood health, mental health, special education, program development and support and in using policies to strengthen practice. Ms. Scott has her bachelor’s degree in political science and her Master of Social Work with a focus on management and policy.