By Nancy Gutierrez
In a small room on the Wilson Middle School campus a group of nutritionally minded teens gathered at lunch to learn about good food choices and help make the school food service program more responsive to their needs.
These students are members of the Nutritional Advisory Council, a program created by the American School Food Service Association and sponsored by the Tulare County Office Of Education's Nutrition Network. There is also a group of 10 NAC students at Rocky Hill Elementary. Supple said all of the students applied to be in the program.
As council members students take field trips to supermarkets and farms to learn about the origin of their favorite foods and what foods are a healthy choice. It also brings students together to learn and spread the word about good nutrition and exercise.
At the Wilson NAC meeting Food Service Director Brian Supple told students about apples and the different varieties available to them.
"Do you guy's like apples?" Supple asked.
"It's food. I like food," one of the students answered.
Supple gave the students information on the history of apples and their nutritional value, including how much fat sugar and vitamins they have.
"It's a subtle way of giving students the nutritional background of fruits and vegetables," Supple said. "It's helpful to the community and to kids."
Later on in the program NAC students will have the opportunity to help choose the types of foods that will go on the school menu. For now they will learn about the food guide pyramid and what choices to make when they buy snacks and meals.