Denver Public Schools

The District

The School(s)

  • Centennial Elementary

    Age Group: K-5
    School Size: Medium (301-900)
    School Environment: Urban
    School F/R: 78%
    School ADP: 85%

The Project

  • Project Description

    The After School Wellness Stand Gets Kids to Try Something New

    Centennial Elementary School set up a Wellness Stand at four different school events with the goal of exposing students and their families to fruits and vegetables in an exciting way. The wellness stand replaced the traditional snack bar at an Arts Night, the school Carnival, a Celebration of Learning event, and the school Field Day.

    The Centennial students were very engaged, tasting a variety of raw fruits and vegetables that they chose from the Wellness Stand, in addition to sampling freshly made smoothies.

    Parent volunteers ran the stand, and encouraged the children to try something new. Centennial Third Grade Teacher Kelsie Christian set up a Sign-up Genius site to rally volunteers, which was essential to the process.

    The Wellness Stand at the Field Day was much more popular than expected: “We did not think we would run out of food for Field Day, but we did! It was a nice hot day and the kids were really thirsty and hungry. It was awesome to nourish them with healthy foods instead of popsicles or Capri Suns.”

    Christian adds that the Wellness Stand was a great venue. “Students were able to talk to each other about their favorite food sample. Our greatest success was getting students to not be afraid of kale and other greens,” she says. In fact, some students have since requested kale on the salad bar, as well as apricots, mangos, cherries, peppers, plums and more smoothie samples.

  • Successes
    • The Wellness Stand was very popular among the students who were eager to try the fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Challenges
    • The Wellness Stand often ran out of samples because the healthy produce was so well-liked by student participants.
    • Centennial staff found it difficult to consistently recruit parent volunteers to help run the Wellness Stand at each school event.
    • It was challenging for volunteers and staff to accurately record how many students visited the Wellness Stand at each event.

From the Blog

Can a French Fry Nation Embrace a Rainbow of Vegetables?

By Chef Ann Cooper & Chef Beth CollinsWhy are potatoes and the proposed meal patterns for school breakfast and lunch making headlines in Colorado?In August Senator Udall and Susan Collins (R-ME) sent a letter to the Senate agricultural appropriators urging them to add...

Stay Connected!

Receive the latest news and info on school food change by signing up for our newsletters.

Register to Download The Lunch Box Tools

Please help us keep The Lunch Box tools and resources free for all users by registering here! It will help us demonstrate to our supporters how this site is used in school food work.