Each month in our school cafeterias we are highlighting a new fruit or vegetable to showcase in our "Harvest of the Month Cart". It's a simple wooden cart with a basket to hold the produce and the cart is then decorated with seasonal garland, scarecrows, vines and even blinking hearts for February's presentation or shamrocks for March.
Students have the opportunity to come touch, feel and experience the fruits/vegetables as they would see it in nature. Most students don't realize that vegetables have leaves or come with roots attached or that there are many varieties of that one vegetable or fruit. For instance, last month students learned that there is red cabbage, Napa cabbage, savoy cabbage in addition to the traditional green cabbage they see shredded in their coleslaw.
We have a bulletin board behind the cart with Farm to School Learning Zone posters showing colorful produce and lots of information cards on fruits and vegetables.
Our monthly menus include family recipes and fun facts about the Harvest of the month item and of course, we make sure and serve that produce item at least once that menu and will sometimes try out a new recipe to add excitement.
This month it's the Avocado (most kids think the avocado is a vegetable but it's really a fruit). We are starting to sprout avocado seeds in our cafeterias window sill. We show how students can grow their own miniature avocado tree at home and of course we will be serving Guacamole with their "South of the Border Lettuce Salad" this month.
The last Harvest of the Month Cart will contain a big basket of the Garden plushy fruits and vegetables, we want to challenge students to see how much they can to recall about what they learned from the Harvest of the Month Cart this school year. We will include fact and recipe cards in the cart to jog their memory.
By adding tasting and touching to our nutrition lessons this year we added a lot more interest and we think a lot more fun too!