Putting fruits and veggies front and center
California Table Grape Commission gives 28 salad bars to Tulare County schools
Sylvester, a third-grade student at Grand View Elementary in Dinuba, is happy to have more fruits and vegetables at lunch. "We didn't have very many choices before," he says. "But now that we do, we eat more." School nutrition planners feel that variety is an important part of getting students to eat more fruits and vegetables. Thanks to a new salad bar, installed at Grand View last month, there are plenty of choices.
Sylvester and his classmates file past the salad bar before heading for their sandwiches and drinks. There, they are encouraged to take at least one item from an array of green salads, broccoli/carrot salads, bananas, apples, nectarines fresh from the orchard, and carrots. The salads, pre-packed and sealed in the Dinuba Unified central kitchen, are a source of pride for Kelly Martin, food service director for the district. "We do our best to buy as much fresh produce from local farmers as possible," she says. "By creating our own recipes, we can keep the fat content low and the freshness high."
Grand View was not the only school to receive a salad bar. Thanks to a program of the California Table Grape Commission entitled the "Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools" initiative, the Network for a Healthy California was able to place 28 salad bars in elementary schools throughout the county last month. The schools that received the salad bars were:
Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District - Cutler Elementary School, Golden Valley Elementary School, Palm Elementary School, Sierra Elementary School, El Monte Middle School
Network Project Coordinator Nani Rowland reports that the timing of the installation was perfect as federal standards now require students to have a portion of fruits and veggies with each meal. "We are so grateful to the Commission for providing the salad bars, which make choosing healthy foods fun for thousands of Tulare County students," she says. For more information about the program, call Ms. Rowland at (559) 651-0130.
Jim Vidak, County Superintendent of Schools
Tulare County Office of Education
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