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Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program

By
Lorin Schwartz,   M L King Elementary School
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Topics:
Access to Healthy Foods,  Success with Funds
Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program

The M.L. King Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program was implemented in late August 2015. The goal of our program was to introduce our students to new and different fresh fruits and vegetables and to increase their consumption as a part of a lower-fat, high fiber diet. The program provided free, fresh fruits and raw veggie samplings to all of our students during the school day twice a week outside of breakfast and lunch times. Many of the items were new, different and unusual to the students. The fresh, raw fruits and vegetables served were all in their natural state without any flavor additives. Containers were delivered to the classroom and distributed to the students by the teacher while including information and a nutritional education component regarding the fruit/veggie sampling. Our students have become acquainted with and greatly enjoyed the opportunity to taste many new fresh fruits and vegetables and learn about their health benefits. We feel that this program has been a great success and hope to implement it again for the 2016/2017 school year.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

A lot of these fruits and vegetables are new to students so they would be very timid to try them. We gave them the opportunity to say no thanks after they tried at least one bite of the food. Most of the times after that first bite the students realized the food was actually really good despite what it might smell or look like.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

Students are beginning to choose more fruits and vegetables at lunch to eat or bringing more in their lunch sacks. Many students are starting to bring in new fruit they never knew of before this program, like mangoes.

How did you accomplish your goals?

We have students starting to try new and different foods into their healthy diets. We watch them discuss the new fruits and vegetables and share ways they can eat it at home.