Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fruity Day!

It's 11.15 and I'm at the playground. I see children playing something similar to basketball, football and many different games. Then, while waiting for the bell to be rung, I found out that my kids have a special ability... They can play and chew at the same time without dying in the process! After a while, I spot that every single student is carrying a sandwich as a snack, and the question came from out of the blue: What about fruit?

My school is in Guaro, which is located on the northern foot of the Sierra de Mijas, inland Málaga, overlooking the spectacular Guadalorce valley. That valley is one of the most fertile areas in southern Spain. During my first days in my new school I tried to get to know my students asking about their hobbies and what they do in their spare time. All my 7 graders answered the same: they have a country house and almost all my male-students go hunting with their families. They collect their own fruit, vegetables and wild animals, such as rabbits/hares or partridges. Thus, the next question was: Don't they like fruit?

I talked to my students and they just prefer a sandwich, sweets or chips instead of fruit and I couldn't believe it! I spent more than a week to find a solution for that as I consider that schools are a key to teach children healthy eating. I was asked by the school to participate putting on the wall of the class a "Fruitmeter", in which I should register the students who take a piece of fruit, and, what is more, one of my colleagues came once with a pear stuck to a headband! But I knew that wouldn't catch my pupils' attention. One day, I asked one of my students to bring my schoolbag from the teacher's room and she said very enthusiastic: "Miss Ellie, are we going to use the selfie stick today??". Whoopee!! (I thought). Luckily, I had brought melon as a snack and I said: "Yes, today is Wednesday and it means that it is the Fruity Day. The selfie stick was a surprise" and that was how I started to take pics of ourselves on Wednesdays.

Amazingly, six of my students are bringing a piece of fruit every Wednesday so far (I could have never imagined that could happen!) and that is the way I'm trying to increase daily consumption of fresh fruit at school.

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