Brady ISD to observe Texas 5 A Day Week, Jan. 22-26

As the state celebrates Texas 5 A Day Week on Jan. 22-26, Brady ISD will join the festivities by urging all students, faculty and administrators to join the fun with “Jammin’ 5 A Day.” The 5 A Day program encourages everyone to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The Produce for Better Health Foundation and the National Cancer Institute have joined forces to increase a child’s average consumption of fruits and vegetables from 3.4 servings per day to at least 5 servings per day. Dole Food Company, a founding member of the national 5 A Day For Better Health program, also plays a vital role in this national initiative. Dole has had a long-standing commitment to developing and providing technology-based education programs to elementary schools nation wide. Their on-line site is www.dole 5aday.com. Another site is www.HealthyFood.org. “Brady ISD strongly supports this proactive nutrition education program,” said Elaine Reinhard, BISD food service director. “The daily menus at Brady ISD provide a minimum of four fruits and vegetables for lunch and breakfast. Last year the food service department joined the second grade teachers in making the week special in their week-long emphasis of Texas 5 A Day Week, ‘Get Fit With 5.'” Brady ISD nutrition and food service department is committed to serving healthy nutritious meals to students. “We are continually striving to serve more fresh fruits and vegetables and to encourage students to make healthier choices to meet the goal of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily,” said Bea Holmes, production manager for the Brady Elementary School cafeteria. “We hope that parents will continue this emphasis at home. We cannot do everything that is needed to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables.” Here are some statistics from Dole’s findings: Breakfast ‘ Children eat a total of less than one-half of a serving of fruit; 100 percent juice and/or vegetables. ‘ Only 59 percent of children drink 100 percent fruit juice at breakfast. (The school breakfast program serves only 100 percent juice.) ‘ Only 23 percent of children eat fruit at breakfast. LUNCH AND DINNER ‘ Children eat a total of less than one-half of a serving of fruit; 100 percent juice and/or vegetables. ‘ Only seven-and-one-half percent of all food eaten at lunch are vegetables, excluding French fries. ‘ Children are twice as likely to eat French fries than any other individual vegetable. ‘ Only eight percent of all foods eaten are fruit. ‘ More vegetables are eaten at dinner than any other meal, however, they only make up less than 25 percent of all foods eaten at dinner. ‘ Children seldom eat fruit for dessert; fruit only makes up three percent of all foods eaten at dinner. SNACKS ‘ Children are eating a total of less than one-third of a serving of fruit, 100 percent juice or vegetables as snacks. ‘ Over 50 percent of all snacks are cookies, desserts, chips, salty snacks, candy and gum. ‘ Only 16 percent of all snacks eaten by children are fruit. ‘ Only one percent of all snacks eaten are vegetables. Clearly, more needs to be done to encourage children to double their fruit and vegetable consumption throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables should be the center of the plate and at least one-third of all foods eaten during the day. Not only does the theme “Jammin’ With 5 A Day” encourage more consumption of fruits and vegetables, it also encourages everyone to become physically active. “We have become a ‘couch potato’ society,” said Mrs. Reinhard. “One of the best ways to help children reach the 5 A Day goal is to include them when preparing food. “This is not easy for working parents, but it is essential for the health and well being of our children and adults. As adults, we are responsible to project a positive image when it comes to eating healthy meals and exercising more. Healthy choices are essential.”

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