Panther Valley Elementary School student Jaden Fontana looked a little skeptical as he pondered whether to taste the chunk of Kumato tomato he held in his hand. He took a small bite of the purplish colored fruit, and nodded his approval.
"It's good," he said.
Jaden was one of hundreds of students who visited booths at a Health and Wellness Fair held at the school Tuesday.
The event was sponsored by The Nutrition Group, the company that provides the school district's meals, Smart Partner (the federal fresh fruit and vegetable program), Kegel's Produce and Guers Dairy.
The fair featured fresh fruits and vegetables, strawberry-banana yogurt smoothies, Asian chicken salad and water, and exercise demonstrations.
The Freaky Foods booth, operated by Mallory Rosenburg, that provided the Kumato tomato Jaden sampled, also offered slices of guava and sprigs of sea beans for students to sample.
The Nutrition Group's on-site food service director, Melissa Collevechio, coordinated the event, which also included prizes, including two bicycles donated by The Nutrition Group.
Bill Scepansky of Smart Partner and Mary Jo Grazious of The Nutrition Group dished out helpings of Asian Chicken Salad, loaded with napa cabbage and glistening with a light sesame ginger dressing.
The students trooped into the all-purpose room at the school, holding plastic bags to take home samples.
They visited each booth, sampling healthy foods and learning fun exercises demonstrated by physical education teacher Bob Thomas.