Bethel and Mabel schools celebrate healthy snacking
Teachers, counselors and cafeteria managers went beyond the call of duty last spring by submitting a grant application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Due to their efforts, students will enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables, free of charge, as a snack several times a week.
On Monday, both schools brought in the healthy academic year with pep rallies. Invited guests included Mrs. Corn, Ms. Banana, Miss Pea, Bunch of Grapes, and board of education members.
Students at Mabel school were served sprite melon, and Bethel students were served grapes.
The schools were chosen by the USDA to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the school year, which will provide the funding. They are among 169 schools in North Carolina selected for participation. Both schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Student enrollment at Bethel last year was 174, and Mabel was 194.
One of the key health messages of Eat Smart Move More NC (eatsmartmovemorenc.com) is: Make fruits and vegetables cover half your plate. They are low in calories, full of essential nutrients and can help reduce your risk for chronic disease! Fresh, frozen, dried, canned - it all counts. Shake things up by enjoying a variety of colors to stay healthy and fit. Your body will thank you.
To reinforce healthy eating habits, teachers at both Bethel and Mabel are planning weekly nutrition education activities that will reflect the standard course of study applicable to their grade level. The schools will also partner with N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, the health department, and other community agencies to bring additional health and nutrition instruction to their students.
My children created these fruit inspired snack recipes. I don't recommend the frozen ice cubes treats for young children who are at a high risk for choking.
Frozen Fruit Assortment
Cut most any fruit into bite-sized pieces. Favorites include grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon and peaches. Place in ice cube tray and freeze. A nice anytime treat.
Frozen Fruit Yogurt Cubes
Place vanilla yogurt in ice cube tray and insert blueberries into each cube. Freeze and pop out cubes as desired.
1 orange, peeled
8 ounces carrot juice
1 cup strawberry yogurt
1 cup ice
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. To contact Margie, email firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 264-3061.