St. Patrick’s Day, students at Athens City Schools were not only
wearing green – they were eating it, too.
school’s Eat Green Wear Green event encouraged students to eat dark
leafy vegetables with fun incentives, explained Janalee Stock, nurse
for Athens City Schools.
serving alternative salad; most of the time it’s iceberg lettuce.
Instead we’ll have leafy green salad,” said Stock the day before
the event. “We’ll have leprechaun and leaf clover stickers on the
bottom on a few trays (at the elementary schools), and the students
with those trays get to eat with the principal at a special green
salads were prepared with leafy greens in a kid-friendly way.
chicken strips and mandarin oranges are very similar to Wendy’s
salad, which most kids have seen before,” she said, adding that
most kids are not opposed to vegetables as commonly thought. “I
think it’s a myth that most kids are finicky… They say it takes
four to five times for people to get used to change.”
event was a collaborative effort with the schools’ PTOs, Community
Food Initiatives, Health and Wellness Team, Green Edge Organic
Gardens, Shade River Organic Farm and local grocers.
the passage of the Hunger-Free
in December, schools now have more funding for and access to
nutritious foods, but integrating healthier foods into schools is a
slow and potentially difficult process. Thursday’s event was a way
to experiment with nutrient-dense vegetables, said Stock.
learn as you go,” Stock said. “It is not a great time of year for
this because there were freezes across the nation.”
she said introducing better produce in the cafeterias is an important
and necessary change, especially when children may not be eating
fresh, nutritious foods outside of school.
are constantly bombarded with advertisements and temptations that are
not great for their long-term health,” Stock explained, “and
we’re trying to make changes that will be good for their long-term