Giant Salad, Obstacle Course Highlight Food Day at Herndon Elementary
From a giant salad made in a swimming pool to running an obstacle course, students at Herndon Elementary enjoyed participating in Food Day, sponsored by FCPS partner Real Food for Kids. David Guas of Bayou Bakery assembled the big salad and was joined by Washington, D.C.-based cook and author Jonathan Bardzik, who made a power breakfast with the students.
Students in grades K-2 saw food demonstrations and got to taste the chefs’ creations, and students in grades 3-6 took part in food tastings and healthy activities.
Herndon’s Food Day is the school’s next step from the school garden, designed to help students understand where their food comes from and how habitats and ecosystems work. By enabling students to grow and harvest their own food, then taste what has been grown, students can make smart and healthy food choices. Real Food for Kids says further that Food Day “aims to help children understand the impact of food choices on their academics and physical fitness, and increase their capacity to understand how to turn everyday foods options into nourishing meals.”
Herndon has a number of ongoing wellness activities to get and keep students moving. Included are riding bicycles, funded by a grant won by the school’s physical education teachers; a walking club; the Buzzy Bee Yoga Club, where students and staff members can practice mindfulness; running clubs for girls and boys; a morning cheer program; and a PTA basketball program. Teachers have begun implementing strategies from the yoga club into their morning meetings and throughout the day.
“Our staff and PTA understand the importance of living a balanced, healthy life,” says assistant principal Felicia Drake. “Thanks to FCPS Food Services, our cafeteria offers healthy choices through the salad bar, and students have an opportunity to select a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.” Herndon is also part of the Breakfast in the Classroom program, a national program that provides a healthy breakfast for students before school starts.
“We want to promote healthy eating and healthy activity,” says principal Teresa Fennessy, who challenged her staff, as a family of learners, to take care of one another, Herndon students, and their families, and promote wellness across the board.