Fruit, Vegetables And School InitiativesTue 18 Sep 2012
Story by The Food Revolution Team
As the new school year is now in full swing, for many so are the new school meal standards.
As part of these new meal regulations, students across the country can expect to start seeing double the amount of fruit and vegetables in school meals. However, we all know that just adding more healthy items to school lunch isn’t enough; students need to eat it in order to reap the benefits.
Unfortunately many kids are so out of touch with their food that they don’t know their basic fruit and vegetables, therefore food education is vital in order to help them try and eat the new and extra fruits and veggies that may find their way onto lunch trays this school year.
Therefore we wanted to know what initiatives are in place in your local schools to help get kids to try and eat more fruit and vegetables.
What initiatives does your school have in place to help encourage kids to eat fruit and vegetables?
From taste tests to all you can eat salad bars, here are some of the initiatives taking place to help educate kids on fruit and vegetables and help make sure they get their 5 a day:
• Elizabeth Clarkson (Bodmin, England) Our junior school has a little fruit cart run by the senior students, before school and during breaks they wheel it out and the little kids only have to pay 25 pence for either a mixed bag of fruit or a large piece of fruit. The kids love it. The variety is brilliant.
• Laurie Lundy (Oregon, USA) Fresh fruits and veggies delivered to elementary classrooms three times per week as a snack. Love hearing kids "discover" new favorites. . ."what are those things that aren't pickles but like them . .oh yeah cucumbers, I like those".
• Barbara Valaguzza (Monza, Italy) Our elementary school in Monza will participate to a project called "100 days of fruit". The aim is to educate the children to eat fruit and veg as snacks. For our kids it will be very easy to follow this "diet" as they are already used to eat fruits and veg when they are at school.
Children, teachers and parents will be involved in this fantastic "challenge" for 100 days.
In the next few days, kids will bring home a small folder with the instructions, games, the description of the fruit or veg.
• Vanessa Coates (Colorado, USA) Our elementary school (and the entire Denver Public Schools system) has an all you can eat salad bar for the kids with fresh fruits and veggies.
• Barbry Allen They buy a carton of in-season produce from a local farm and taste different fresh fruits and veggies every week.
• Debra Farmer (California, USA) They invited several organic or green lunch companies to come in & test their food on our students’ palates at a school wide event. Then had the kids do comment cards on their likes & dislikes. Based on the results - a new lunch provider was selected. Now we just spot check quality & taste likes with the kids every few months to keep the vendor aware. Kids are happy, parents are happy and school staff is happy.
• Andrea Richie (California, USA) The Hawthorne School District in Los Angeles, CA has a program called Nutrition Network. They teach the kids about different types of fruits and vegetables, have them make a snack or meal with recipes they provide and then they taste what they've made. The kids love it! They also provide nutrition and cooking classes for parents too.
What initiatives are in place at your school?
Whether its parent volunteers, lunchroom champions, hosting events about real food such as ‘rainbow days’, incorporating food education into the classroom or growing your own in a school garden, we want to know what’s happening at your school! Let us know by posting on our Food Revolution Community page and share ideas with food revolutionaries across the world!
‘Learn Your Fruit and Vegetables’
We’ve teamed up with The Boys and Girls Club of America to launch the Learn Your Fruits and Vegetables program in the US which we are rolling out at New York and Los Angeles clubs, for free, with funds raised through Food Revolution Day.
This program consists of 14 fresh fruit and vegetable lesson plans, each focusing on a particular fruit or vegetable along with a recipe and fun facts. They have extended activities as well to engage students and extend the level of learning. They can be taught in the classroom, at an afterschool program or for adults in the workplace. Check out our FREE US taster pack hereand why not start talking to the kids in your local schools about fruit and vegetables and build a foundation to get them eating more!
Watch this video to find out more about the new school meal regulations and tips for helping to implement them in your school.
The Food Revolution Team
Photos from The School Day Just Got Healthier / Photo Credits: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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