CHELSEA — In its fourth year, the Chelsea elementary schools’ annual fruit and veggie challenge has had a makeover.
In the past, the two elementary schools rivaled each other to see which school’s students could eat the greatest number of servings of fruit and vegetables during the month of January. However, this year, the principals have instituted several significant changes into the competition.
According to South Principal Stacie Battaglia, the school-wide themes of respect, responsibility and safety are at the basis of the challenge.
“We want the kids to focus on a healthy lifestyle for their own sakes, and not make it just about beating the other school,” she said.
Students will be encouraged to eat at least 7,500 servings of fruit and vegetables during the school day, with the emphasis on snacks brought from home. Healthy choices at home do not count toward the goal, but are still promoted as part of a good diet.
North Principal Marcus Kaemming said that the hope is that each individual student will increase the number of servings of fruit and vegetables that he or she is currently eating. “If a child is eating three servings a day now, can he increase that to four or five?” he said.
The challenge is taking place from Feb. 3-28 this year, rather than in January. Kaemming said it’s been hard to come back after the holiday break and go right into a big event like this, so they are giving February a try.
“We know that February is a gray, tough month,” he said. “We hope that this challenge will make the middle of winter a bit more fun.”
The principals said the teachers are using the winter Olympic Games as a gateway to talking about healthy lifestyles with their students.
The fruit and veggie challenge will culminate in the final Staff Olympics event Feb. 28. North Creek students will travel by bus to the South Meadows gymnasium where teachers from both schools will compete on either the Fruit Team or the Veggie Team. It will be a celebration of healthy eating habits and serve to promote both exercise and friendship.
Have a pink world 😀