Healthy eating is showcased

McGuffey school stresses better food selections

WARREN — Eating healthy and exercising was the message students at McGuffey PK-School shared with state legislators and representatives from the Trumbull Agriculture Center who visited the schools as part of the ”Farm to Table” initiative.

Marie Economos, family and consumer sciences extension educator and county extension director at Ohio State University extension, said the school’s food service staff and students shared with visiting legislators about the positive health changes within the school environment.

Visiting the school were state Reps. Michael O’Brien, D-Warren, Glenn Holmes, D-McDonald, and John Patterson, D-Jefferson, and Roger Rennekamp, OSU extension director, who had lunch with students and spoke with them about Smarter Lunchroom and Healthy Strategies students are learning.

Economos said the group visited W.I. Miller’s Farm in Farmdale and Red Basket Farm in Kinsman before stopping at the school.

”The visit was part of the Food to Table effort where we showed how the locally grown healthy foods from area farms goes to the local schools where students can make healthy selections for lunch,” she said.

She said the effort helps students learn to eat healthy.

”It was exciting to be able to show how the children have been learning about healthy food selections,” Economos said.

Pearlie Phillip, assistant food supervisor at McGuffey PK-8, said the cafeteria stresses healthy choices at lunch with many fruit and vegetable choices.

She said for the past four years there has been a variety of fruit and vegetables choices including apples, bananas, grapes, and oranges.

”When I was growing up my mother always bought Red Delicious apples. Today we did a taste test and the children love the Granny Smith apples. We encourage healthy eating. The children love the different food choices,” Phillip said.

She said the children had the opportunity to ride a bike on the cafeteria stage to help mix ingredients for a healthy drink.

”They are learning how much exercise is needed to burn off what they eat. Strawberries, bananas and blueberries were added to a smoothie,” Phillip said.

Knowledge Battee, a sixth-grader, said he likes apples and bananas for lunch while Gia Willis, a sixth-grader, likes pineapples, grapes and blueberries.

”I like having salads for lunch,” Willis said.

Battee was among those who rode the bike and said ”it was hard at times to pedal to mix the drink.”

Zyaire Burch, a sixth-grader, said it is nice to have a choice of fruits since each person likes different ones.