Candies, chocolate, cupcakes and cookies are the usual classroom Valentine’s Day treats. However, for students at Mary Giella Elementary School, Valentine’s Day treats are just as sweet but much healthier. The school’s cafeteria manager, Julie Kennedy, has offered Fruit Friendship Grams for the past six years. When asked what sparked the idea for these alternative sweet treats, Kennedy said, “I saw a picture of them once and thought it was a cute idea and I thought it would be a great way to spotlight the cafeteria and the healthy things we do.”
The Fruit Friendship Grams are pieces of fruit like bananas, oranges and apples with a “text like” message attached that reads “I’m Bananas for You!” or “U R Sweet” or “U R the Apple of my Eye!” The Fruit Grams could be purchased and would be delivered during the week of Valentine’s Day from February 9th – 13th. Parents, students and teachers all bought them either as singles or an entire fruit basket could be bought for a class. Overall, more than 400 pieces of fruit were sold, but a successful and healthy undertaking should not be surprising for a Healthier U.S. School Challenge award recipient like Mary Giella Elementary School.
You can learn more about the Healthier U.S. School Challenge by visiting this website.
Guest Blogger: Raneitra Grover, MPH, Team Nutrition Coordinator, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services