School Health Liaison, Ellie Morris, with students' artwork
The creativity and dedication of many different organizations and individuals all over Chatham County led to a successful Eat a Rainbow Week 2011, coordinated and led by Ellie Morris, School Health Liaison with the Chatham County Public Health Department. Participants included all of Chatham County Schools 10 primary and elementary sites as well as local businesses and restaurants, the CCCC Natural Chef Program, and the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro.
The Eat a Rainbow focus at the schools meant that students got to snack on and fill their cafeteria trays with a variety of fruits and vegetables over the course of the week. Thanks to cafeteria staff, teachers, and parents at all 10 schools, students tried new foods such as kiwi, seaweed, squash, celery, and purple cabbage.
One staff member at Virginia Cross Elementary told Ms. Morris, “I really enjoyed the salad because it had flavorful greens like chard in it. The students were wary at first, but when I pointed out the many leaves and explained how tasty they were, they were more willing to try it out.”
Students also learned about healthy eating in class, and with the guidance of their art teachers, created fruit and vegetable themed artwork to decorate their cafeterias and local restaurants.
The Chatham Community Library spread the Eat a Rainbow message to young children and their families by reading food-related books during their story times and making a prominent display of their favorite food-themed children’s books.
Restaurants in Siler City, Silk Hope and Pittsboro displayed artwork from Virginia Cross, Perry Harrison, Pittsboro Elementary and Silk Hope School students which was enjoyed by the students, restaurant staff, and customers. A few restaurants also made a point of highlighting fruits and vegetables on their menus during the week.
Some dishes of note included the Catherine’s Cranberry Pecan Salad at S & T’s Soda Shoppe, the rainbow-colored Veggie Cobb Salad at Virlie’s, a dish with locally grown purple sweet potato and collards at Angelina’s Kitchen, and a vibrant butternut squash soup at the CCCC Natural Chef Café. Chatham Marketplace encouraged residents to Eat a Rainbow by discounting a different color of produce every day.
You can learn more about Eat a Rainbow and view a slideshow of Eat a Rainbow Week 2011 activities at www.chathampublichealth.com/eat-a-rainbow.
If you have questions about Eat a Rainbow Week or would like to be involved in the future, contact Ellie Morris, School Health Liaison with the Chatham County Public Health Department at 919-545-8514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.