Kids take part in FUSD taste test

FRESNO, Calif.

4th graders from Kratt Elementary had their eyes on the goodies up front. No need to study for this taste test. They were free to try whatever fruit and vegetables they liked at the district nutrition center.

Strawberries were king but other items also proved to be popular. Nutrition educators from UC Cal Fresh were here to teach the kids about the importance of trying different kinds of fresh produce.

Nutrition educator Kristi Sharp explained, "We encourage them to try it and then they try it and wind up liking it. That's a saying - you can't judge it unless you try it."

Once they do try something new they usually like it.

Fresno Unified food services director Jose Alvarado said, "Some students tasted jicama and they had never tasted jicama before so now if we put it on the menu they get an idea of what jicama is all about."

The tour allowed students to see where their daily meals are prepared. Think of the hairnets as thinking caps because the kids are clearly learning valuable lessons.

"They ask some very interesting questions about the density of the product," said Alvarado. "How many nutrients, calories?"

Fresno Unified is the state's largest grant recipient of the fresh fruit and vegetable program. The produce isn't just being used in the cafeteria.

Alvarado added, "We are serving fresh fruit and vegetables during recess every day at 45 elementary schools as a grab and go item."

The items which do make the menu are those which rated high in taste tests among kids.

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