Students Line Up for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snacks
Seven schools in the Mountain View School District (MVSD) were awarded the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)Federal Grant for the 2013-2014 school year. Thanks to the grant, students at Baker, Cogswell, Miramonte, Monte Vista, Payne, Parkview and Twin Lakes Schools are enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables as a recess time snack three days a week.
“We are very excited to offer this snack program to our students,” said Susan Delgado, MVSD’s Food Service Director. “The kids really like it and it’s a great way to introduce them to a variety of fruits and vegetables they might not usually eat.”
Along with familiar fruits like strawberries and grapes, students will get to learn about and eat some exotic fruits and vegetables such as kumquats, rambutan, donut nectarines, yam sticks, sugar snap peas, persimmons, coconut, cactus pear, dragon fruit, star fruit, and Asian pear.
The snacks are offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the start of the students’ morning recess. Along with the snack, the food service staff provides nutrition information and fun facts about the fruits and vegetables the children are eating.
At Miramonte School students quickly lined up as the cafeteria staff passed out cups of fresh strawberries.
“I love strawberries!” said third grader, Elexis as she devoured her snack. “Strawberries are my favorite fruit and I would eat them all the time if I could.”
Jeff Lagozzino, Miramonte’s Principal is very happy to have the FFVP at his school.
“This is a great program and the kids love it,” he said. “They really enjoyed the jicama last week and the strawberries are a hit as well. Even when the snack is tomatoes or something unfamiliar to them we still have a substantial amount of students eager to eat the snack item offered.”
First graders in Wendy Cruz’s class liked the way the strawberries looked and felt. Cruz explained that the bumps on the berries were seeds and shared that the strawberries were a great, healthy snack to enjoy.
“These are delicious!” said Nina, a kindergartner. “I eat lots of strawberries at home and I like them because they are really sweet.”
According to Delgado, in addition to providing an effective way to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy snack options, the FFVP helps to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.
“I’m thrilled our students are able to enjoy an increased amount of fruits and vegetables at school, thanks to the FFVP grant. Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered during our breakfast and lunch programs and having the additional healthy snacks three days a week is wonderful. The program also serves as an important catalyst for change in the effort to combat childhood obesity by helping children learn more healthful eating habits.”