If you challenge them, students might just try a new fruit or vegetable, an initiative by Medical City Children’s Hospital found.
Thousands of students in 15 North Texas school districts became “World Snackers” in the annual Medical City Children’s Hospital kids teaching kids® 21-Day Challenge, culminating in $28,000 distributed to area schools.
About 20,000 elementary students, including those in Dallas ISD, participated in the snack challenge, which promotes healthy eating improvements by encouraging kids to make and eat healthy snacks at home for three weeks. Participants had access to a fully digital book filled with student-created recipes and videos inspired by cultures from around the world.
Results show that 63% of students that completed the challenge tried a new fruit or vegetable.
The 21-Day Challenge also provides a financial incentive for schools with 15% of students completing the challenge. Participants tracked daily snacks and progress on a virtual dashboard, while teachers reinforced great habits via online or in-person classes. Twenty-eight schools were awarded $1,000, with the support of corporate partners Kroger, Reliant and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
“We are proud of the efforts students have made to improve their snack habits, especially during the stress of the pandemic when unhealthy eating is tempting,” says Jessica O’Neal, CEO of Medical City Children’s Hospital. “The kids teaching kids 21-Day Challenge empowers children to take control of their health early in life and is another example of our system’s community commitment to healthy lifestyles.”
The award-winning program was created in 2010 in partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas ProStart culinary programs and school districts across North Texas. High school culinary students create healthy snack recipes while graphic arts and photography students design cookbooks especially for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Families can also use the kids teaching kids Healthy Snack Finder online to search more than 500 kid-friendly recipes featuring fruits and vegetables—or whatever happens to be available at home. For more information, visit kids-teaching-kids.com.