Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Creative Way of Getting Kids To Eat Vegetables!

Childhood obesity has always been a big concern for most countries as obese children are likely victims of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke when they move into later part of their adult life. The health cost incurred will be a heavy burden for them as well as for the governments.

The causes that trigger such epidemic are mainly unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Children love fast food that is delicious but extremely unhealthy. Parents are having hard time in convincing their kids to consume vegetables that are not fond by most kids.

Finally, an elementary school has found a creative way of getting the students to eat more fruits and vegetables. Edgewood Elementary School in Baltimore (MD states, United States) turned one of the classrooms into a smoothie bar where students can choose a variety of fruits and vegetables and watch them disappear into icy blended drinks.

The first batch of taste-testers could pick from an ingredient menu that included spinach, carrots and cucumbers, along with strawberries, pineapples, bananas and chia seeds and have them blended with almond milk or coconut water.

Fruits and vegetables used for the smoothies were obtained through a federally funded program for low-income schools like Edgewood, where 91 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced meals. The program allows fruits and vegetables to be served in the classroom outside of regular meal times twice a week. So the principal thought that adding a smoothie bar would give students another fun way to consume fresh produce.

Generous donations from various parties were received, including 10 blenders for the project together with other supplies such as bowls, cutting boards and about 120 reusable cups. A nutritionist was also sent to the school to help launch the project.

According to the nutritionist, it is really important that the kids could incorporate foods that will give them fiber, potassium, Vitamin C and antioxidants because the processed foods that the kids currently consume do not possess antioxidants at all.

Students who had the first sip of their smoothies had mixed reactions. Some liked what they tasted while others found the smoothie tasted differently probably because they were not used to tasting certain type of vegetables.

It is hoped that the students will experiment and find what healthy combination of tastes will best suit them. Meanwhile, the teachers will work closely with the students to find recipes and set parameters.

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