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North Mianus Students Eat 5-A-Day The Rainbow Way

Stepping up to the Fruit & Veggie Challenge

 

PTA Wellness Chair at North Mianus School Pam Plummer undertook a big project when she set out to offer samples of about a dozen varieties of fruits and vegetables to the students at her son's school. All in, Plummer coordinated 120 volunteers and 465 students during six lunch shifts over the course of an entire week.

Yet Plummer explained that it was more than worth the effort. "One girl came up to me and said, 'I've never had mango before and I love it! I'm going to ask my mom to buy it,'" exclaimed Plummer, who reported receiving dozens of parent emails with positive feedback.

Thursday's color theme was yellow. And, while students kept catching themselves saying 'starfish,' the star fruit was a big hit. Plummer introduced the fruit by describing its taste as a combination of apple, pear and grape.

"A star fruit can have as many as twelve points on it," said Plummer. "Explaining that yellow fruits and vegetables are a good source of potassium, Plummer, who paced the cafeteria with a microphone, added, "If you're feeling a little bit tired, just eat a yellow vegetable and it'll pick you up."

Monday's color was red, with samples of watermelon and red peppers. Tuesday's color was orange, with a pairing of mango and baby carrots. Friday's colors were green and purple, with sugar snap peas, kiwi and blackberries on offer.

Plummer reminded the children to work on their fruit and veggie "charts" at home to log in their fruit and vegetable servings. All the charts would be tallied by classroom and prizes awarded to those with the highest participation.

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Throughtout North Mianus School, the tile walls were adorned with posters bearing slogans like "Eat Clean - Go Green," and "Eat Five a Day, The Rainbow Way." Indeed, the entire school got into the spirit of sampling a new fruit and a new veggie at lunch each day.

"I loved the sweet baby corns," said 5th grader, Logan Galletta. "It wasn't new for me. We have it at my house," he added, eager to get out to the playground for recess.

The primary sponsor of "The Fruit and Veggie Challenge" was Stop & Shop, though A&P Fresh donated five bowls of cut up watermelon and Fairway Market donated 80 mangos.

Arlene Putterman, spokesperson for Stop & Shop said, "One of our core propositions is to educate children on the benefits of eating healthy. We know that eating right is all about balance and eating fruits and veggies is an important part of the federal "Choose My Plate" guidelines." According to Putterman, parents can get healthy ideas by visiting www.stopandshop.com.

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