During the last week of October, children in the Clare-Gladwin RESD S.P.A.R.K.S. program at local elementary schools, area Great Start Readiness Program and Head Start preschool classrooms, as well as some local childcare centers celebrated National Food Day; an annual initiative that aims to promote safe, healthful diets, and supports sustainable organic farming.
Made possible by Clare-Gladwin RESD, the Clare-Gladwin Great Start Collaborative, and the Clare-Gladwin Health Improvement Planning Committee (a subgroup of Together We Can), this year’s Food Day focused on food education. Activities and lessons encouraged children to know where their food comes from, how to cook meals, and how doing so will give them a big advantage when it comes to being healthy.
Children at a number of childcare centers in Clare and Gladwin counties enjoyed apples from the Fruitful Orchard in Gladwin, while the preschool programs throughout the two-county region included a National Food Day lesson into their snack times.
The Farwell Elementary students in the S.P.A.R.K.S. afterschool program made healthy, fun snacks with a Halloween theme, including mummy pizzas, ghost bananas, skeleton mushrooms, and candy corn fruit parfaits. “The students all participated in creating their own snacks and enjoyed trying some new food they had never before had,” said S.P.A.R.K.S. Director Keri Retzloff. “When trying mandarin oranges for the first time, I heard one student surprisingly say, ‘These oranges are great!’”
All participants also took home a National Food Day activity book.