Farm to School is healthy eating…

Apparently great minds think alike…this week the Montpelier Bridge published its annual Health and Wellness issue, and Seven Days published its annual Health and Fitness issue. Seems like there’s a groupthink happening somewhere…

I noticed the same thing when speaking with practitioners for the my Bridge article this week. Everyone interviewed reiterated what we’ve all been hearing for a while now…and what our great-grandparents knew without having to be told: Whole grains. Diverse and lean protein. Fresh fruits and vegetables.

So it was particularly reassuring, at yesterday’s Farm to School Celebration at the Statehouse, to hear Commissioner of Health Dr. Harry Chen state that Farm to School programs are part of the Vermont Department of Health’s efforts to reduce the costs associated with chronic disease and educate young people about the nutritive value of food.

Young representatives from schools through Vermont cited cafeteria offerings like parsnip fries, baked squash, and cornbread made from local ingredients. “It’s great to see all the little kids lining up for the salad bar,” a young woman from Cabot said about her school’s program supported by VT FEED.

For today’s young people to maintain these eating habits into adulthood, those of us who are currently adults need to keep on supporting school gardens and other community healthy eating and cooking programs – through funding, volunteer efforts, and role modeling.

Does your local school have a school garden? If not, what would need to happen to get one started? Inquiring minds want to know…

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