Our school cafeterias are giving students the opportunity to enjoy nutritious food grown locally. The Farm Fresh Friday and Harvest of the Month programs take place to support healthy lifestyle habits and teach students about agriculture and the local farms their foods come from.
Each month a different locally grown fruit or vegetable option is available in our cafeterias. Agricultural fact sheets teach students about the products and farms of Texas. We hope to increase the number of fruits and vegetables that students are eating.
Onions have been a part of the human diet for more than 7,000 years. Onions can be a strong weapon in the battle against osteoporosis. That’s because onions destroy osteoclasts, bone cells which resorb bone tissue and weaken bones. Onions are rich in quercetin, a powerful flavonoid antioxidant that has been shown to have positive effects in people battling lung cancer. Onions can also be beneficial in treatment of cataracts and even cardiovascular disease. Sliced onion can sooth insect bites and burns on the skin. Slicing onions makes most of us cry, but why? The reason is that cutting into it releases sulfuric acid, which reacts with the moisture in our eyes to create a tearful reaction. One way to avoid this unfortunate byproduct of slicing onions is to cut them under running water, or while submerged in a basin of water.
Crunchy, crispy celery is well known for being low in calories, but its health benefits go far beyond use as a diet food. It’s a convenient on-the-go snack as well as a vegetable that can be incorporated into cooked dishes, stir-fries and salads. Celery retains most of its nutrients even if it is steamed. Celery is a good source of vitamin K, with one cup containing about 30 percent of the recommended daily intake. Celery can also help you get enough folate, potassium, fiber and molybdenum. It contains small amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and some B vitamins. One stalk of celery contains only about 10 calories, while a cup of chopped celery contains about 16. It also contains dietary fiber, which helps curb cravings because it absorbs water in the digestive tract, making you feel fuller longer. Celery is rich in phytonutrient antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Cabbage has been cultivated for longer than almost any other vegetable on record, more than 6,000 years! It originated in Shensi Province, China, sometime around 4,000 B.C. Cabbage contains a high concentration of Vitamin C. That means it cuts out toxins in your body, preventing skin disease, arthritis, and rheumatism. Healthier hair, skin and nails are just some of the benefits of eating this leafy veggie on a regular basis. Cabbage’s high sulfur content translates to keratin production, and the result is feeling good inside and out. Eating cruciferous veggies like cabbage has been scientifically proven to lower your risk of developing cancer.