School District of Philadelphia
Learnings from the Field
Pan American Charter School
Age Group: K-5, 6-8
School Size: Medium (301-900)
School Environment: Urban
School F/R: 94%
School ADP: 90%
Super Food for Super Kids
Pan American Academy Charter School planned a Super Food for Super Kids event during the month of May. The lunchtime event for all grades emphasized healthy lifestyles and was built on information about nutrition that the children were learning in the classroom.
For the younger students (K-5th grade), school staff served banana burgers with seasoned apple fries, along with a side of carrots. Older grades (6-8th) enjoyed dessert pizza with blueberries, kiwi, banana, and a side of cucumber slices.
At smaller fruit and vegetable tastings conducted in June, students were given the opportunity to taste bananas, strawberries, apples, grape tomatoes, and carrots. The fruits and veggies were served raw with a ranch dressing dip.
After the Super Foods for Super Kids meal and tasting, teachers used the events to start discussions in the classroom about nutrition. Students received fact sheets about each fruit or vegetable sampled, and were given recipes to take home and share with their families.
Afterward, all students completed an online evaluation of the meal and the tastings.
“The project was a great success!” said Cristina Luna, development associate. “As a result of our project, 54 percent of K-5th grade and 58 percent of 6-8th grade learned new ways to eat fruit. 67 percent of K-5 and 59 percent of 6-8 liked the recipe made that day and 62 percent of K-5 and 56 percent of 6-8 would try the recipe again.”
- The majority of students participating in the program reported having a positive experience at the event.
- Many students shared what they learned with their families.
- Pan American students did not respond well to the vegetable tastings, possibly because the vegetables were served raw with a ranch dip, rather than cooked or incorporated into recipes.
- Food Service staff struggled with time management to prepare samples and distribute to all students.
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