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Palm Beach County schools teach healthy eating habits

Posted at 4:29 PM, Nov 20, 2019

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Getting children to eat their fruits and vegetables is no easy task. That's why the School District of Palm Beach County is on a mission to teach children healthier habits.

At H.L. Watkins Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens, students are getting a different kind of lesson.

"Nutrition, fitness, mindfulness," said Jeannine Rizzo, a school-based wellness coordinator for the School District of Palm Beach County.

From a corn shucking relay, to freshly made smoothies, these kids are learning how to live a healthy lifestyle.

"If we introduce to them to ideas and practices that they connect with, there’s a higher probability that they’ll incorporate them early on," said Rizzo.

For example, Ciara Johnson said she doesn’t like to eat bananas, but on Wednesday she tried a fruit smoothie with bananas in it and it changed her perception.

"I feel like, when you mix, it taste better than by eating it by itself because bananas are nasty in my opinion," said Johnson. "But I think that apples and the strawberries made it better."

Nutritionist Jamie McCarthy said using fruits and vegetables in different dishes is a good way to see what will stick.

"Anytime you change the cooking method it will change the profile," said McCarthy. "Just trying to find that right spot for what those kids really like."

The principal of the school wanted to include the teachers, too.

"Everybody in the school is moving today," said Awilda Tomas Andres, the principal at H.L. Watkins Middle School.

It shows that no matter what age you are, it’s never too late or too early to try something new.