Lessons of Fresh Start can guide schools seeking to boost student fruit consumption
- Author(s): Crawford, Patricia B
- Woodward-Lopez, Gail
- Gosliner, Wendi
- Webb, Karen
- et al.
Less than 11% of young school-aged children eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, despite abundant evidence that these foods protect against many types of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and when combined with other dietary changes can help protect against obesity. In 2005, California became the first state to address the availability of fresh and local produce in the federal School Breakfast Program through state funding. The California Fresh Start Program doubled the number of different fresh fruits offered to students. With the greater variety, the number of fresh fruit servings taken by students in the Fresh Start pilot program more than doubled. Evaluation of the program revealed many lessons, which are especially important now, as schools across the country prepare to increase the number of fruits and vegetables offered in the School Breakfast Program by or before July 2014 as mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.