Next year, millions of elementary school children will be munching on fresh fruit and vegetables as part of an expanded U.S. Department of Agriculture program. Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, each student in selected low-income elementary schools will receive $50 to $75 worth of fresh produce throughout the school year.
The program was funded under the National School Lunch Act and expanded in 2008 as a result of the Farm Bill. It has been successful so far. “Children are learning fruits and vegetables are healthy choices and tasty alternatives to snacks high in fat, sugar, or salt,” said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.
The program is part of a broader effort to curb childhood obesity, which has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Do your part by encouraging kids to eat healthy at home and at school.
Try these fun and nutritious snack recipes from allrecipes.com:
Fruit Kabobs: Stick melon balls, berries, pineapple chunks, and cubed peaches, pears or apples onto toothpicks.
Mini Sandwiches: Use crackers or give the kids a few slices of bread, lunch meat, and cheese, and a couple of miniature cookie cutters to make tiny, fun-shaped sandwiches.
English Muffin Pizzas: Use half an English muffin as a pizza crust. Smear on a bit of bottled tomato sauce, add a light sprinkle of low-fat mozzarella cheese, and then top with chopped vegetables. Heat for a few minutes in the toaster oven or microwave.
Yogurt Parfait: Mash up some bananas or berries with a fork and mix with low-fat yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.
Ants on a Log: Cut celery stalks in half. Spread with peanut butter. Sprinkle with raisins.