The lunchroom at Linkhorne Elementary School just got a little more colorful, with the addition of a new fruit and vegetable bar. Starting this month, students will be using their “Superpower Patch” to eat their rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables each Tuesday and Thursday. School nutrition staff at Lynchburg City Schools won the bar in a raffle from the Virginia Department of Education at the Virginia School Nutrition Association conference. Staff is using it to increase the variety of fruits and vegetables on the lunch line.
The new fruit and vegetable bar is named the Superpower Patch for all the nutrients that are packed into fresh produce. Lynchburg City Schools Director of School Nutrition Beth Morris is piloting the program at LES and will look at the possibilities of expanding it to more LCS schools. “There is a lot of excitement among the students at Linkhorne about their new option at lunch,” said Ms. Morris. “I will be comparing our sales data at Linkhorne Elementary with other elementary schools to see if the Superpower Patch encourages consumption of our heathiest meal offerings.”
Research suggests that salad bars in schools increase consumption of fruits and vegetables and increase nutritional knowledge about the benefits of eating fresh produce daily. “Increasing access and variety to fresh fruits and vegetables can increase consumption of healthy choices and decrease plate waste,” says Dr. Sandy Curwood, R.D., Director of School Nutrition Programs at the Virginia Department of Education. “We want to help our students become healthy eaters, not just while they are in school, but throughout their lives.”