District students learn about nutrition
District elementary schools participate in program to inform students about healthy eating
CALN >> Eat your greens.
While some kids nationwide do not have the opportunity to eat fruits and vegetables in their homes, Coatesville elementary students are getting that chance at school.
Caln Elementary School students will get to snack on fresh produce three days a week in their classrooms this school year because of a federal grant program called the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Caln joins two other Coatesville elementary schools, Reeceville and Rainbow, in participating.
Chef Bill Scepansky talked to Rainbow Elementary School students during an assembly on Friday about fruit, vegetables and nutrition. In addition to getting to sample the food, the program provides educational information so students can learn about what they are eating and why it is good for their health.
“The children really love it,” Food Services Supervisor Erin Robinson said. “We do trivia quizzes with them about the samples and they are really learning that they can enjoy vegetables and fruit and not just processed foods and traditional snack foods like chips.”
Fresh fruits and vegetables are served daily in the school cafeterias. But school district officials say getting children to eat them is another matter. Experts say federal programs like this help schools create healthier environments by encouraging children to eat a wider variety of healthy foods.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program began in 2002 and was expanded nationwide in 2008. Reeceville Elementary has participated the last three years, and Rainbow was added last year. Elementary schools participating in the program receive between $50 and $75 per year per student to purchase the samples.
The program is targeted toward schools with higher ratios of students eligible for free and reduced meal prices.
“We know there’s a direct correlation between children’s diets and their health,” said Robinson. “This is a great way to have an impact. We have had several parents tell us they were surprised at what their children request at the grocery store. It’s opened a whole new world of fresh fruits and veggies for them.”
Chef Bill Scepansky speaks to Rainbow Elementary School students on Friday about fruit, vegetables and nutrition.
Rainbow Elementary School student Matthew Smith reacts to eating broccoli on Friday at the school event. Reeceville Elementary has participated in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the past three years, Rainbow Elementary was added in 2015-16, and Caln Elementary is in its first year in the program.
Rainbow Elementary School students help themselves to broccoli during the event.
Fresh fruit and vegetables.