Boise schools have a lunch program that puts a lot of fruits and vegetables in front of the kids, but if your kids are anything like mine the broccoli may not make it into their mouths.   As parents, what can we do to give them a healthy nudge?  

The USDA has the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and it pumps fresh fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias at participating elementary schools with the goal of helping kids improve overall diets and create healthier eating habits.

Boise schools were worried this summer that the funding might run out, but the program is back again for its 18th year, and Boise Weekly says the district is happy about it because it's been a big success.  Good!  It seems the kids are choosing the healthy options when they have the chance.

Boise Weekly also says in Boise schools, the snacks are a mix of local produce like asparagus and cherries, and exotics like dragon fruit and rambutan.  Classrooms get them sometimes in hand-delivered baskets.

One of my three girls (the middle kid) will sit down with a fork and a tub of cantelope and polish off the whole thing.  She will eat just about any fruit because it's sweet, but she won't eat many veggies.  My oldest girl likes broccoli with Parmesan so I'm constantly putting that in front of her.  And the youngest is most likely to eat fruit if it comes in a Nemo-like shape.  She likes fruity snacks, but not necessarily actual fruit.

Oh moms....we didn't know when we signed up for this that we'd have to add "fruit and veggie marketing specialist" to our list of titles.  At our house, we have lots of conversations at the table about making good choices and ones that will help and not harm down the road.  They've been "strongly encouraged" to reach for some of these healthy snacks at school this fall.

If the kids won't eat the fruits and veggies by themselves, there's always a smoothie!  Toss 'em in and add some yogurt and life will be good.