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Try It Friday Leads to “Seconds, Please!”

Meadow Lands Elementary School
Owensboro, Kentucky

Meadow Lands Elementary School in Owensboro, Kentucky was looking for ways to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles among students, and with the help of a $500 grant from Action for Healthy Kids, made possible by Walmart Foundation, they soon had an opportunity to do just that.

Using the funds, Donna Richards, the school’s food service manager, helped organize a fun “Try It Friday” event during the school day to encourage both students and staff to try a nutritious snack many were unfamiliar with. She worked with kitchen staff to prepare hummus from scratch out of mashed chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, salsa, salt and garlic, which special guest “Carrot Top” helped pass out along with carrot sticks for dipping. Tables in the cafeteria were decorated with balloons and posters promoting healthy snacking, while staff members educated kids on the importance of incorporating protein-rich foods like hummus into their diet.

“We explained to the students how eating healthy would boost their energy and help them be more focused in the classroom,” Richards said.

The event was a success, with many students expressing surprise at how much they liked the “unusual” food and even coming back for seconds. More than 400 students and staff in all tried the hummus, and Richards said it seems to have piqued students’ curiosity about other new foods. As a result, Meadow Lands plans to hold more taste tests in the future in hopes that students and staff alike develop a taste for healthier options and begin to make or ask for them at home.

Way to go, Donna Richards and Meadow Lands Elementary on helping students adopt a healthier lifestyle!