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Fruit tasting

Sean Paino,   Audubon Park Elementary School
Access to Healthy Foods, Community Involvement, Student Leadership, Success with Funds,  Teamwork

We had our first ever fruit tasting. The healthy school team and some students prepared 10 fruits the night before the event. During the fruit tasting the students were able to try 8 different fruits! We had blackberries, blueberries, cherries, kiwi, star fruit, cara cara, oranges, and grapefruit. We had some teachers surveying the students to see what their favorite fruits were. The top 3 were oranges, star fruit, and kiwi. Some of the students said they would now ask for more fruit at home because it was so good. Our goal was to get students to try some fruits that they probably haven't tried before. Many students have tried a cherry Starburst, but have they tried an actual cherry? I felt it was a huge success and we will make sure to do this every year.

How did you accomplish your goals?

Our goal was to make the students aware of how many different types of fruit there are in the world. Most people including myself stick to the same things. Well we don't know if we like something until we try it. If we don't like it then we don't have to have it again. Another big thing was making sure the students know this is a much healthier snack option then maybe say a bag of chips. Our job is to make sure the parents and students know some options for healthy snacks.

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

Our biggest challenge is definitely the number of students in our school. Our school was built for 800-900 students, not 1240. Our school had to add 25 portables outside of the school. This means our cafeteria was built for a certain size. Our cafeteria is where all of our health/food related activities take place. We had to do a great job organizing and monitoring the students during the fruit tasting to make sure it ran smoothly. 600 kids attended which was awesome to see.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

This was nice to see. Our healthy school team is made up of teachers from each grade, the nurse, chill counselor, cafe manager and some parents. Some of us gathered up a group of students who are working on their helping and good manner skills. The students and the adults on the healthy school team prepared (washed, cut and put in cups) all of the fruits. The adults washed & cut the fruit while the students helped the other adults put fruit in the cups. It helped the students see how it works.