Mispillion Elementary Promotes Healthy Eating

Mispillion Elementary School vidoe submission to the USDA's My Plate Contest.

Mispillion Elementary has been working with students to encourage them to make healthy lifestyle choices including choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables, making their diet more complete. Child Nutritionist Supervisor Bev Harp along with administration and cafeteria staff have challenged the students to try fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal by educating them on their benefits in a fun way. This year students from the Mispillion Elementary School have entered a video that encourages kids to eat more fruits and vegetables into a national contest.

The MyPlate Fruits and Veggies Video Challenge is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative for school across the nation. The Challenge encourages healthy eating habits and raises awareness about USDA’s MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for school children by motivating students to create informative and fun videos. Each video demonstrates how to add more fruits and vegetables to a diet without straining a budget.

The video created by the Mispillion Elementary School, shoot by Cafeteria Manager Joanne Joseph, shows students educating viewers about fruits and vegetables as the sing and cheer about how many different choices there are to pick from. Led by Mispillion cheerleaders, students have a healthy competition encouraging students to ‘eat with their eyes’. A student representing each color of the rainbow has a chance to name fruits and vegetable of that color and remind students to ‘Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.’

“The kids did very well with this video,” commented Ms. Harp, Child Nutrition Specialist at Mispillion Elementary School. “They had a lot of fun performing in front of the camera and helped encourage their classmates to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diets.”

The Mispillion Elementary School’s video is currently in first place among schools from across the nation. The first place prize will win $1,500 and the ‘popular choice’ will win $500. Judges from the USDA will be looking at the quality of the ideas, implementation of the idea and potential impact on health eating habits to determine a national winner.

Four schools in the Milford School District, Morris Early Childhood Center, Lulu Ross Elementary, Benjamin Banneker and the Milford Middle School, are involved in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program that is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s initiative to promote healthy eating habits in communities around the nation. Being a new school this year, Mispillion Elementary will become part of this program in the following years as it develops data to collect for the purpose of the program.

Staff and administration from the Mispillion School have already begun to develop a strong presence of healthy eating into the classroom, during gym class and at the cafeteria. Joanne Joseph, Cafeteria Manager, facilitates a ‘ Veggie of the Month’ program for the students where they learn about the variety of vegetables available to them. So far Ms. Joseph has served the kids sweet potatoes, acorn and buttermilk squash, fresh peaches and jicama in an attempt to get students to try new foods.

“We are really trying to broaden their horizons,” commented School Nutrition Specialist Bev Harp. “Instead of packaged fruits and vegetables we have offered the students fresh foods in the hopes that they enjoy them and begin to incorporate those foods into their daily lives.”

To vote for the Mispillion Elementary Students’ video that was submitted to the MyPlate Fruits and Veggies Video Challenge visit http://fruitsandveggies.challenge.gov/submissions and choose ‘Feel The Beat Choose My Plate’ video.