Split Pea Challenge serves up nutrition lesson at BCIS

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Neighbors | Submitted.Boardman Center Intermediate School fifth-graders Ryan Vodhanel (left), Julia Forbes and Mady Kiser show off bags of split peas in the school food pantry. Each made a different recipe with split peas.

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Neighbors | Submitted.Boardman Center Intermediare School sixth-grader David D’Altorio cooked up split pea soup for the Split Pea Challenge.

Split peasare the first food item that Second Harvest Food Bank proposed in its new initiative to encourage children to use and enjoy healthier foods. Boardman Center Intermediate School is first to take on the Split Pea Challenge.

BCIS social studies teachers jumped on board, offering extra credit for students willing to research split pea recipes, make something at home, take photos and present the outcome in class.

“We expected split pea soup, but never imagined there would be split pea brownies, pudding and fudge, or hummus, snack mix and split pea burgers,” said social studies teacher Jenn Dravecky. “We had more than 300 students take home a bag of split peas – some 25 cases of peas provided by the Second Harvest. In most cases, the students ate and enjoyed the recipes they made.”

Two years ago, BCIS and Second Harvest, along with the Boardman Lions Club, partnered to open the valley’s first every day in-school food pantry. The school’s pantry continues to meet the need for dozens of Boardman families every week.

In December, Second Harvest will select another non-perishable food item for students to research and devise recipes they would enjoy.

“This food challenge is a great way to expose students at an early age to a potentially new food, and to teach them how to use it,” said Mike Iberis of Second Harvest. “It’s a good first step to reduce hunger in the long term, as well as establish healthy options for life.”

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