Nothing corny about fresh fruits and veggies

Brice Gilbert shows how to quickly shuck an ear of corn. Photo available for purchase

Brice Gilbert shows how to quickly shuck an ear of corn.

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 02:14 PM.

Franklin County elementary school students have been enjoying fruit and veggie snacks all year, and last week, they took some time to celebrate their success.

On Oct. 3, a raucous audience of pre-Kindergartners through fifth graders, led by staff dressed in overalls and straw hats, went “down in the cornfield” to celebrate just one of the many vegetables and fruits that they enjoy three times a week, as part of a special state grant the district has received for the past three years.

With an elaborate cornfield set adoring the cafetorium stage, complete with hay bales and scarecrows, created by food service supervisor Terry Hilton the program touted the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program, which provide students on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with a healthful snack to enjoy outside of their regular breakfast and lunch.

Funded by a $29,500 grant, the program is intended to introduce students to fresh, nutritious items that they may otherwise not be familiar with, and to accompany this experience with fun facts that may influence their dietary habits positively.

Hilton said the variety is vast, and has included everything from broccoli florets to cauliflower, from star fruit to squash and everything in-between – asparagus, onions, potatoes, carrots, green beans, kale, celery, tomatoes, even dandelions.

“We’ve had them before,” she said. “They can dip them into ranch or Italian dressing.”

Plenty of fruits are also among the selections, including the exotic such as breadfruit, and each is portioned according to the students’ ages.

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