NJ Students In CATCH Program Learning Healthy Food Can Be Tasty

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — One New Jersey school is trying to turn its students into connoisseurs of healthy food.

Every month, students at Jefferson Elementary School in Maplewood get to taste a new fruit or vegetable.

“The raspberries are delicious, they’re amazing,” 4th grader Amelia Russell told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

On Wednesday, the students tasted berries, asparagus and red and yellow peppers. The testing is all part of a national program called CATCH, or coordinated approach to child health. It aims to cut down on childhood obesity. The school is able to participate thanks to a grant and parent involvement.

“My daughter actually begged me to be a volunteer because of the CATCH tasting in the cafeteria is one of the highlights of her month,” one parent said.

Finnola Gray said she was happy about being able to try out a new vegetable or fruit.

“It’s really good ’cause you get to try a new thing you wouldn’t try on your own,” she said.

“It’s really important that they know that going into the future, they’re going to be healthier eaters. They’re bringing the message home to their parents,” health and physical education supervisor, Judy LoBianco, said.

With studies showing one out of three children in the United States are obese, Jefferson Elementary is also finding students are slimming down and exercising at home.

“I think with healthy eating, we see healthy students and they are ready to learn,” nurse Carol Scalgione said.

At least ten other schools in New Jersey participate in the program.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Christine Sloan
  • Caroline Howell

    It’s so reassuring and encouraging to see that kids are learning and experiencing firsthand the joys of eating nutritiously.

  • Nick Camera

    Excellent school district dedicated to healthy kids!

  • Miquerlan Previlon

    CBS spreading the word about Maplewood Schools supporting healthy lunch in school.

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