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Fruit & Veggie Contest aims to get kids eating healthy
Real Fresh  pic
With each fruit or vegetable lunch choice Turlock Unified School District elementary students can earn a chance to win prizes through a new contest sponsored by the Stanislaus County Fair. - photo by Journal file photo

The Stanislaus County Fair is partnering with Turlock schools to encourage kids to make healthier choices at lunch time. The 20/20 Fruit & Veggie Contest will reward elementary students who make healthy eating choices with the chance to win free tickets to the fair, a bicycle or other prizes.

Punch cards will be distributed to elementary students in the Turlock Unified School District on Monday to keep track of their healthy eating choices. Each time a student chooses one fruit or vegetable option for their lunch for 20 days, the student will then receive a punch on their punch card. Once the student’s punch card is completed, he or she will be entered into a grand prize drawing.  Four students from each elementary school in the Turlock Unified School District will be chosen to win.

“We wanted to enhance our Kids Club program in a fun, yet educational way this summer,” said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair.  “The goal was to partner with a program that has excelled by introducing innovative approaches in educating kids on better nutritional choices.”

The contest will run through TUSD's Real Fresh nutrition program. Since 2007, TUSD school meals have included no trans fats, and there is increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables through the district's Real Fresh menu.

“Anytime that the Turlock Unified Child Nutrition Department can team up with a partner like the Stanislaus County Fair to educate children and their parents about our rich agricultural heritage and educate them on all the fresh local products that we provide in our school lunches every day which will help guide them to a lifelong change of eating fresh healthy foods, I will do whatever is necessary to be a community partner in that endeavor,” said Scott Soiseth, director of Child Nutrition at TUSD.

Alkhas said that if the contest is successful in Turlock this year the fair will extend the partnership to other districts next year.