Certainly everyone has heard their parents say, “Eat your vegetables.”
It turns out, it’s really good advice.
“Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals,” said Barbara Blatter, the Granville Middle School family and consumer sciences teacher and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America adviser.
“The term we use is they’re nutritionally dense foods,” she said. “And they’re tremendously low in calories. In fact Weight Watchers right now is not even counting your servings of vegetables.”
Blatter took the message to a dozen YES Club members last week. She invited them to the school garden behind Granville High School to help them develop a greater understanding of what half their food plate should be filled with, to share some recipes, and to show them how to garden in a small area.
“More than half the plate has to be vegetables and some fruit,” Blatter said. “A small portion of the plate is going to be protein, and then the other part would be carbohydrates.
“You need five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which most people do not get,” she added.
Linnea Beighley, a 19-year-old environmental science major at Ohio State University and a 2014 graduate of GHS, helped lead the group in the garden.
“Once you start eating more of the vegetables, you begin to like it more and more and not like all the burgers and the fries,” Beighley said. “When I started this, I liked my steak and I liked my burgers. Now I’m trying to be a vegan and it’s totally changed.”
In fact, Beighley’s favorite snack is now sugar snap peas.
“I’m not incredibly athletic but I’ve always wanted to be fit,” she said. “The meat and the salt gets trapped in your colon so it makes you have a bigger stomach. Now that I’m eating more vegetables and fruits, I’m tinier.”
Her Sister, Debby Beighley a a 15-year-old freshman at GHS gave the group some recipes.
BY DEBBY BEIGHLEY
1 cup berries
1 cup pureed beets (cook the beats, skin them and puree in blender or food processor)
1 cup ice or juice
1 cup yogurt
Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor. Serves five.
“I do gymnastics, and the coah is always telling us to eat healthy,” she said. “Of course, I love burgers and stuff like that, but I prefer to eat healthier so I can stay active more easily.”
Additionally, Jim Reding who teaches environmental science and ecology at GHS, was there to show the group how to garden in a small area.
“Food is a big issue right now,” Reding said. “Right now, only about 2 percent of our population grows food, whereas in the olden days, everyone grew something.
“Knowing where your food comes from, having that local connection to your food so it’s tied into your local community – I think that’s becoming even more valuable,” Reding said. “I think local is becoming a bigger and bigger part of it, where the food’s not traveling 1,600 miles to get to your plate.”
The YES (Youth Engaged in Services) Club is a community services-oriented, after-school program in Newark providing youths ages 11 to 18 with a place to gather when school is out.
This Article appeared in the Newark Advocate August 19, 2014.