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    Friday, September 09, 2005

    The Kids Love Their Chard!


    The New York Times treats us to discussion of the healthy gourmet at Harlem's Promise Academy, one of Bloomber's new charter schools.

    I love this:

    Ebony, 12, had never seen Swiss chard until a month ago. She ate three helpings. "I was like, 'I don't want to eat that,' " she said of her first few months of meals at the Promise Academy. "But I had to, because there was nothing else. Then it was like, 'This is good.' "

    Now she demands that her father, Darryl Richards, pick up chard at the makeshift farmers' market held once a month in the school cafeteria.


    Imagine her kicking and screaming: "I want CHAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRD!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    I don't love this:

    School officials regularly measure the children's weight and fitness along with their academic progress.

    I can imagine the fun of lining up for that.

    I love this:

    When confronted with whole-wheat penne covered with sautéed peppers and local squash, she does not blurt out "That's nasty." If she does, she goes to the end of the line.

    I might have actually eaten lunch at school if they offered stuff like that!

    I don't love this:

    Even at the Promise Academy, getting students to embrace healthy eating has been a struggle. At first, they went home complaining that they had not had enough to eat or that the food was terrible, so Mr. Benson brought parents in for a meal.

    The food impressed Jacqueline Warner, whose son, Chuck Cherry, 11, used to come home from school complaining that he was hungry. "It's just that he wasn't used to eating healthy portions," she said.


    Poor hungry Chuckie! I don't think it's healthy to expect kids to learn when their stomachs are growling- kind of scary that it's more important than academics. Being thin and brimming with nutrients is, unfortunately, not going to get these kids into college.

    I love this:

    Ebony can fill her tray with a dozen helpings of vegetables or bowls of Romaine lettuce from the salad bar. Any time in the school day, she can wander into the cafeteria for a New York apple.

    When I was growing up, we didn't get snacks and we didn't get to go get more food once we cleaned our tray. What a world these kids live in!

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