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Critzer students learn about nature’s original fast foods

Students at Critzer Elementary School in Pulaski learned nutritious lessons Wednesday on nature’s original fast foods: fruits and vegetables.
Critzer Elementary was recently selected as one of 25 schools in Virginia to receive the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Grant, meaning that more than $32,000 will be spent this year on Critzer students to help increase their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, according to Sarah Burkett, senior extension agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
To inform the students at Critzer about the grant program and the advantages of eating fruits and vegetables, Burkett gave three informative and fun nutritional presentations Wednesday at the school.
Throughout her presentation, Burkett explained to students the reasons why they should consume fruits and vegetables, along with examples of serving sizes and tips to meet their daily intake needs.
She also explained the difference in serving sizes needed for boys and girls, had the students guess children’s top-ranked favorite fruits and vegetables and gave tips for how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal and snack.
Burkett also taught the students 5-4-3-2-1 Daily Health Habits, which represents eating five fruits and vegetables, drinking four glasses of water, having three servings of low-fat milk products, including milk, cheese and yogurt, spending two or less hours in front of a television or computer screen, and engaging in one hour of exercise.
Overall, Burkett said the goals of the program grant will be to:
•have students eat a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables;
•include more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet;
•increase acceptance of new foods;
•understand the health benefits from eating a variety of fruits and vegetables;
•encourage students to help select and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables at home and school; and
•promote 5-4-3-2-1 Daily Health Habits.
Frances Sutphin, supervisor of school nutrition for the Pulaski County Public School system, noted that the school system had applied for three different schools, including Critzer, to receive the USDA Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program Grant.
She said that as only 25 schools in the entire state of Virginia receive the grant, they applied with the hope that at least one of the schools in Pulaski County would receive the grant, and luckily, Critzer did.
A Critzer Fruit and Vegetable Committee has been formed to identify school programs and events to promote a school-wide effort to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by youth and adults at Critzer.

Comments or suggestions can be shared with the committee through email, either to Sarah Burkett at sburkett@vt.edu or to Frances Sutphin at fsutphin@pcva.us.
You may contact Jena Hardy at jena@southwesttimes.com

Critzer students learn about nature’s original fast foods

Students at Critzer Elementary School in Pulaski learned nutritious lessons Wednesday on nature’s original fast foods: fruits and vegetables.
Critzer Elementary was recently selected as one of 25 schools in Virginia to receive the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Grant, meaning that more than $32,000 will be spent this year on Critzer students to help increase their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, according to Sarah Burkett, senior extension agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
To inform the students at Critzer about the grant program and the advantages of eating fruits and vegetables, Burkett gave three informative and fun nutritional presentations Wednesday at the school.
Throughout her presentation, Burkett explained to students the reasons why they should consume fruits and vegetables, along with examples of serving sizes and tips to meet their daily intake needs.
She also explained the difference in serving sizes needed for boys and girls, had the students guess children’s top-ranked favorite fruits and vegetables and gave tips for how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal and snack.
Burkett also taught the students 5-4-3-2-1 Daily Health Habits, which represents eating five fruits and vegetables, drinking four glasses of water, having three servings of low-fat milk products, including milk, cheese and yogurt, spending two or less hours in front of a television or computer screen, and engaging in one hour of exercise.
Overall, Burkett said the goals of the program grant will be to:
•have students eat a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables;
•include more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet;
•increase acceptance of new foods;
•understand the health benefits from eating a variety of fruits and vegetables;
•encourage students to help select and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables at home and school; and
•promote 5-4-3-2-1 Daily Health Habits.
Frances Sutphin, supervisor of school nutrition for the Pulaski County Public School system, noted that the school system had applied for three different schools, including Critzer, to receive the USDA Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program Grant.
She said that as only 25 schools in the entire state of Virginia receive the grant, they applied with the hope that at least one of the schools in Pulaski County would receive the grant, and luckily, Critzer did.
A Critzer Fruit and Vegetable Committee has been formed to identify school programs and events to promote a school-wide effort to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by youth and adults at Critzer.

Comments or suggestions can be shared with the committee through email, either to Sarah Burkett at sburkett@vt.edu or to Frances Sutphin at fsutphin@pcva.us.
You may contact Jena Hardy at jena@southwesttimes.com