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School offers students fruit cart throughout the day

Still trying to get kids to each more fruits and vegetables? River Forest Schools in Hobart, IN, has found a colorful way to get kids eating 5 a day. River Forest offers fresh fruit and vegetables to students throughout the school day by positioning wheeled carts with bowls of fresh fruit in high traffic areas in each of the district's five schools.

"We like to put the carts in very visible areas with a lot of daily movement," says Foodservice Director Carrie Nowacki. "In the junior high we put the cart by the gymnasium so kids can grab a juicy orange after gym class."

Since the introduction of the program a few years ago, Nowacki has seen a huge increase in the amounts of fruits and vegetables consumed. "We continue to order more and more fruits and vegetables every month," she says.

Thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program, the produce that River Forest provides is free to all students.

"Not only are the kids making more healthful choices, but their overall diets have improved," Nowacki notes. "This program teaches children through choice the difference between healthful snacks and junk food."

The idea behind the 5 A Day The Color Way campaign, created by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, is that all fruits and vegetables can be sorted into one of five color groups: blue-purple, green, white, yellow-orange and red. By eating one serving from each color group, you consume at least five servings a day.

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