Clubbers at Southampton were delighted by a salad that included kale, green onions, apples, and dried cranberries!

For years before COVID struck, Fit4Kids was able to offer fresh fruit and veggie tastings to our students. Initially, when we returned to in-person programming in Fall 2021, we decided that we still needed to hold off on tastings until the time was right. Thankfully, just weeks after programming got started, we decided that we could finally bring the tastings back (with a few extra precautions!)

Armed with extra hand and surface sanitizers, N95 masks, pre-washed and prepped produce, and a CAN DO attitude, our Garden Educators began facilitating tastings again in late October! The purpose of these tastings is to introduce a variety of new fresh fruits and vegetables on a rotating basis and to encourage students to continually taste fresh items from their school gardens & at home with their families. This regular activity provides students with the opportunity to sample quality food items that can fuel their brains for better learning back in the classroom. It also provides them the opportunity to use their developing language skills to describe the tastings and their thoughts about them!

Students at Cary Elementary taste fresh mustard, lettuce, and kale greens (the same kind growing in their garden) dressed with apple cider vinaigrette!

So far during the fall semester, we have provided over 500 individual samples! We were able to distribute samples of fresh: broccolini, golden beets, radishes, turnips, kale, green onions, and more! All of which are featured and planted in our Learning Gardens! By offering different tastings throughout the season, we were able to encourage students to be bold, and try new foods!

We would like to express our gratitude to the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation for sponsoring our garden clubs and allowing us to offer these tastings! We would also like to thank our awesome Garden Educators- Cody, Elena, Katie, Hunter, and Ben- and all of our volunteers and interns who helped make this possible! Each year we are able to grow and we hope to continue the movement – promoting healthy eating for our children!

About Anthem Blue Cross Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses it’s funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges, as well as it’s Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.