Briscoe ES travels the world of food at International Fruit and Vegetable Festival

Students at Briscoe Elementary were given the opportunity to travel through the world of fruits and vegetables at the International Fruit and Vegetable Festival held at their school.

HISD Food Services Nutrition Team and Recipe for Success Foundation hosted the May 23 event, allowing fourth- and fifth-grade students to taste, touch and smell a variety of colorful, exotic produce from all over the world.

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Throughout the month of May, HISD Food Services Nutrition Team and Recipe for Success Foundation held the event at three elementary schools, including Briscoe. The festival stems from the Foundation’s “Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education” program, which focuses on efforts to fight childhood obesity by changing the way children think about food. That program has grown to 10 HISD elementary schools since May 2013.

Studies show children develop eating habits and food attitudes by the age of 11. HISD Nutrition Education Dietitian Jennifer Griffin Lengyel says the event is a great way of teaching and motivating younger students to give unfamiliar foods a try.

“I like to say have fun first then learn,” said Lengyel. “If [students] are having fun playing activities and guessing games, it’s a really great way to provide a really fun and inviting environment for kids to try new fruits and vegetables.”

Students at the International Fruit and Vegetable Festival played games and participated in hands-on educational activities to sharpen their knowledge of produce from different countries throughout the world. Fiesta Mart Supermarkets, a sponsor of the event, was also on hand to provide tasting samples for the students.

Lengyel says her team is striving to spread the festival throughout HISD elementary schools.

“I would like to make it something we can offer to all schools,” said Lengyel. “My hope is to possibly apply for some more funding and be able to implement [the event] even more so in the fall.”