Students spin wheel and try new veggies


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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Students of West Boulevard Elementary lined up to spin the Wheel of Food. Each grade had the opportunity to spin the wheel during their lunch period.

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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.One student waited for the wheel to stop to see what vegetable it landed on. Whatever vegetable the wheel stopped on, the student would try that vegetable.

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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Natalie Winkle, food service director of Boardman schools, handed one of the students of West Boulevard Elementary a new vegetable to try on Jan. 21 during the Wheel of Food event.

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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Students were eager to spin the Wheel of Food. They lined up after getting their regular lunch meal and waited to spin the new wheel to try a vegetable with their lunch.

By ALEXIS BARTOLOMUCCI

abartolomucci@vindy.com

West Boulevard Elementary introduced a new, fun way to try different vegetables during their lunch period on Jan. 21.

Natalie Winkle, the Boardman food service director, and Beth Stefura, an Ohio State University extension educator on nutrition, brought in a wheel with various vegetables on it for the students to spin.

The “Wheel of Food” had vegetables such as lima beans, spinach, garbanzo beans, edamame, zucchini fries, roasted carrots and spicy black beans. The students would spin the wheel and whatever vegetable the wheel stopped on, the students would try it.

“We are introducing different types of vegetables and increasing their awareness. Some of these might even go on the menu,” said Stefura.

Stefura and Winkle tried the same thing at Center Middle School on Jan. 20 with grades 5-8. The fifth- and sixth-graders were excited and more open to try the new vegetables, but the seventh- and eighth-graders were more apprehensive.

“The younger kids are more willing to try the new vegetables. Older kids are more set in their ways already,” said Winkle.

The younger students weren’t afraid to hold back what they thought about the taste. The facial expressions gave it away for most of the students. Although there didn’t seem to be a favorite at West Boulevard, the spicy chick peas were very popular at Center Middle School.

A U.S. Department of Education grant made the food wheel possible. Stefura was able to travel to four schools with the grant, Austintown Fitch, Springfield, Sebring and Boardman. The grant was given out to try and allow schools to increase awareness of different ways to healthy eating.

“We had to refill the vegetables four times because the kids loved it so much. It’s difficult to keep up with the demand,” said Winkle.

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