Cheers to a More Healthful North Fayette

Posted: April 2, 2012
Cheers to a More Healthful North Fayette

A recent taste test at North Fayette High School was a showcase in proving that eating healthful foods can actually be fun and just plain lip-smacking good.

The students and staff were treated last week to a sampling of smoothies that would soon be listed on the school's breakfast menu. Understandably, the tasty drinks were an overwhelming success.

At the same time, when informed of some of her flavor combinations, food service director Carol Stanbrough was greeted with a mixture of raised eyebrows and uneasy smiles.

Leah Chapman, a Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness representative, stood alongside and recorded the recipes created by Stanbrough.

While the majority of staff and students voiced their flavorful approval for a traditional strawberry and banana smoothie, Chapman noted that her personal favorite, and that of many others, was the strawberry, cherry, and spinach drink!

"It was sweet and delicious. You couldn't even tell that Carol had added spinach into the mix," said Chapman, while noting that the strawberry and banana mixture also included a large carrot. Other smoothie combinations/ingredients included blueberries, broccoli, kiwi, and pineapple.

Stanbrough reported that at this time the smoothie breakfast menu will only be offered at the high school, but elementary and middle school students will have the  opportunity to take the taste test at a later date.

To implement the smoothie bar and other new wellness initiatives, North Fayette recently received $3,190 from the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Chapman helped coordinate the local grant proposal.

Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages the availability and consumption of nutrient-rich foods, along with at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity. The program launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture. The nationwide program provides youth with improve healthful eating and physical activity.

Leading healthful discussions
In addition to the newly acquired smoothie mixer, North Fayette High School has implemented a "Morning Mile (Walking) Club" and plans to purchase club T-shirts, dumbbells, water bottles and posters to help increase student, sta# and community member participation.

The Morning Mile Club walks daily Monday through Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. All community members are welcome to walk with students and staff.

In only its second full year working with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative (FFI), North Fayette is being credited as one of the most active members in the program.

"North Fayette has implemented various new wellness initiatives this year, including the Morning Mile Club, a cross-age teaching program focused on nutrition education, a garden pen pals program, and the installation of new school gardens," said Chapman.

"North Fayette administration is very supportive of the school district's work with FFI, and teachers have demonstrated readiness for change in terms of incorporating health and wellness into their curriculums," she stressed.

Chapman reported that most recently the 18 members of the Food and Fitness youth team visited the West Union Elementary to teach a 30-minute nutrition lesson to all fourth-graders. The first lesson focused on the enormous amount of sugar found in soda. The students were encouraged to pick a lowercalorie, hydrating drink such as water, 100 percent fruit juice or low-fat milk.

From the elementary level to its graduating seniors, North Fayette is making a continuing effort to provide healthy alternatives to each of its students. But students, beware: Hearing the rave reviews of the unique smoothie combinations, prompted one school board member to tease that this could possibly be an option in further utilizing school lunch leftovers cheese pizza and peaches-- smoothie, anyone?

Source: Mike Van Sickle, Fayette County Union, 2/29/12

Tag: schoolwellness

View the Iowa Food and Fitness Calendar