Weekly Feature



2012-05-23 / Lifestyles

Forest Elementary School students eat their vegetables

by KATE MOCKLER Reporter


Chef Scott Green from the First Niagara Center, shows third-grade students Andrew Wang and Ayden Seaborn an assortment of fruits and vegetables. He brought the fruits and vegetables to the school as part of wellness week. 
Photo by Jim Smerecak Chef Scott Green from the First Niagara Center, shows third-grade students Andrew Wang and Ayden Seaborn an assortment of fruits and vegetables. He brought the fruits and vegetables to the school as part of wellness week. Photo by Jim Smerecak With his tall chef hat and his colorful display of fruits and vegetables, Scott Green attracted a lot of attention.

The chef was visiting Forest Elementary School as part of its Wellness Week, and as part of first lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move the School initiative.

Green, who was taking time out from his position as executive chef at First Niagara Center, said that getting children to sample the brightly colored peppers and the unusual offerings such as starfruit was never a challenge.

“They get excited. I think there’s stuff they’ve never seen before,” he said. “When you have a chef coat and hat on, they’re more adventurous.”

The week also featured a firefighter, a police officer and soldier serving lunch to the students in uniform. An afternoon outdoor walk had to be moved indoors, but Lisa Seaborn, a teacher and wellness coordinator at the school, said all students at the school walked at least one mile. She said the wellness initiative has been well-received by students.

“They’ve loved it,” she said, pausing to affirm to a student that the food on Green’s table was, in fact, real. “I couldn’t have imagined it being better.”

During the week, the students learned about nutrition, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate initiative, which encourages everyone to make half of their plates fruit and vegetables.

“The fruit is for animals to eat to transport seeds,” explained third-grader Andrew Wang. He was sampling some of Green’s fruits and vegetables. The starfruit was a big hit with him and his classmate, Ayden Seaborn — Lisa Seaborn’s son. Green was even able to change Andrew’s mind on zucchini, a vegetable he’d previously disliked but agreed to try again.

“I think it’s pretty good,” Andrew said.

Ayden enjoyed their indoor walk from the day before and also liked the chance to sample starfruit.

Seaborn said one goal of the initiative was to try to broaden the horizons of students when it came to fruits and vegetables, and introduce some that they’ve never tried before. It seemed to work with her son.

“[Fruits and vegetables] are really good for you,” he said. “Try all new things.”

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