Erik Curren: Getting Kids to Eat Fruits and Veggies
Since at least the dawn of cheap candy, snacks and sodas, a big problem for parents and schools alike has been how to get kids to choose healthy food over junk food. Kids, of course, want to eat what tastes good.
And in the old days, before mass-marketed snacks and junk food, children considered an apple or a banana to be a sweet treat.
But these days, it’s hard for a piece of fruit to compete as a respectable desert with a candy bar, a brownie or an ice cream cone.
Even when schools require students to put a banana on their tray at lunchtime, that banana often winds up in the trash when lunch is done.
And with one out of three American kids considered obese today according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, junk food is a bigger problem for kids than ever.
A Prize for a Solution
At our last task force meeting, when this topic came up, I joked that somebody should give out a $50,000 prize for whoever comes up with a way to get kids to eat their fruits and veggies.
I don’t know if anybody is putting up any prize money. But that hasn’t stopped task force member and Staunton chef Mike Lund from nominating a candidate for kid fruit-and-veggie motivator.
“This is the rap by my friend Trista Grigsby, director of Rappahannock School Nutrition. It was edited by another good friend of mine. Trista has grown the program from the ground up at Rapp schools, starting as director of the farm to table program and teacher. I actually used to buy the students’ produce and serve it in a restaurant I used to work at up there.”
Watch the video, starring actual kids eating actual healthy food — and sometimes dressed as healthy food too. And don’t worry, the lunchladies haven’t been forgotten.
Then, try to keep yourself from smiling. I’ll bet you can’t.
Erik Curren was elected to Staunton City Council in spring 2012 and in fall 2012 he convened the Staunton Food Policy Task Force.