4th and 5th grade students help promote fruits and veggies!

February 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Nutrition Focus: Fruit and Vegetable Challenges | Leave a comment

This is our fourth year of monthly fruit and vegetable tastings at Norwich Elementary, which was coined “Take A Taste Thursday” by one of our more marketing-saavy parent volunteers… 

We Want YOU! to try Spinach and Kiwi

 We are incredibly fortunate to have our school district  food service provider, Aramark, provide us with free samples of a fruit and vegetable each month for sampling during lunch.  Each month we recruit parent volunteers to help hand out the foods from among those who signed up on the intial PTO volunteer form that they would be interested in helping with health and wellness projects.  We do have data from parent surveys that this project has helped influence the willingness to try new foods at home, and has actually changed the buying habits of our parents. 

It has been a joint effort between the Aramark Food Service and the wellness committee, in that we make sure each tasting includes letting the parents know it’s happening, giving the teachers fact sheets to go along with each fruit and vegetable the day of the tasting so they can talk about it in their classrooms, and now we are thrilled to have 

Kiwi Man "braves" trying spinach.....and likes it!

the assistance of the Norwich News Team, which are 4-5th graders, led by teachers Stephanie Miles, Patty Gast, and our technology teacher Bill Wheeler.   Each week they produce a weekly news show that keeps the students up on all the latest goings on at the school, and is aired each Friday.  This month, they have created a “commercial” about the upcoming tasting, which will be kiwi and spinach leaves, tossed with a light raspberry vingarette. 

This is, of course, fun and light entertainment for everyone.  The students producing the commercial are learning technical, dramatic and media skills.  The younger students see their older peers doing positive activities in a fun way, but on top of all the fun there is also some seriously good things happening here.    Did you know that data from a recent study from Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity reported that the average preschooler sees 642 television ads per year just for unhealthy cereal?   If you want to read more, click here:  20091026execsummary.   Our kids are constantly bombarded in all environments by persuasive messages that encourage poor choices.    Have you seen the Reese’s Rap?  Talk about cool, catchy and persuasive!     You can You Tube it, we don’t even want to use up precious blog byte space to embed it here! 

 There is no way we can come close to the influence that large companies with million dollar marketing budgets have to influence youth and their choices, but every little step we can do in our own individual environments to help our children see the other side of the equation is a step in the right direction.  Kudos to the Norwich News Team and the teacher-advisors! 

Click on this link to view the video file:   http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B058k-kFI10cZjY1ZmYyNTMtOWYwZS00ZGJjLTlkMTMtNWNmZTE1ZDlkZmU1&hl=en 

submitted by Mary Chace, parent and wellness committee chair at Norwich Elementary chace1220@sbcglobal.net

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