The 700 students at West Gate Public School start their day by grabbing a nutritious snack from their classroom bins. Hear from Vice-Principal Lindsay Skene on how, with the help of the Adopt-A-School program, Pure Flavor® provides fresh veggies that help teach the students the significance of healthy snacking, recipe creation, and gardening.
The daily snacks for students throughout the school year consist of grains and either fruits or vegetables. The cost of fresh produce has become a strain on our snack program budget, and we could not provide both. Because we have many students who rely on our snack program to help fill their hungry bellies and start their day out on the right foot, our staff began to look for additional community support to ensure that our students can obtain the fresh produce that many of them would otherwise not have access to.
Balanced snacking –
Now, through our Adopt-A-School partnership with Pure Flavor®, our students can enjoy a serving of grains and BOTH fruits and healthy veggies daily. Adding vegetables to our classroom snack bins has positively impacted our hungriest students, as they can focus on their learning and not become distracted by their hunger.
We love seeing how eager our students are to gobble up the available delicious Mini Munchies® Snack-Sized Vegetable Packs of peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. These veggies have become so popular that we keep an extra stash in the office to ensure that vegetables are available as additional snacks whenever our students are hungry or need different food. Our office staff has even commented that we now have students who come into the office asking for vegetables over other available snacks. Now that is impressive!
Building a Foundation for Green Thumbs –
We all know how important it is for children to eat a balanced diet with nutritious foods. Because of this community partnership, we now have students of all ages inquiring about how they can grow their vegetables to enjoy at home with their families. Many of our staff have been inspired by their students’ excitement over vegetables and have begun planning lessons around gardening and the life cycle of varying vegetable plants.
Students throughout our school have started identifying which vegetables they want to grow and what steps they need to take to care for their plants. Our students have had a fantastic opportunity to engage in a distinctive hands-on learning experience. It’s beneficial to support our student’s curiosity and observe their efforts in caring for their plants, with the ultimate goal of growing their own tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers!
Achieving success in and outside of the classroom –
Some students have found diverse ways to utilize vegetables in their classrooms. Our kindergarten classes have taught the students how to make homemade sauce for pizza bread. This not only created learning for our students, but we could also send home other fun veggie recipes for our families to try out with their little ones and create learning for our families as a whole.
Having fresh vegetables at our school fuels us with essential vitamins and minerals and motivates us to try new foods. There is a direct correlation to how proper nutrition ensures that students are ready to learn and succeed.
West Gate staff and students love that we are learning the importance of healthy eating, enjoying fresh, delicious foods, and discovering how to use our veggies differently. Who would have thought introducing vegetables would create more learning and excitement throughout our school?
We are thankful to community partners like Pure Flavor® for making this possible! We are excited to see the Mini Munchies® arrive each week and watch the students get excited about fresh, healthy snacks!