Current weather

  • Overcast
  • 66°
  • Comment

Grant helps day care pupils enjoy more fruits and veggies

Posted: March 25, 2012 - 12:12am  |  Updated: March 26, 2012 - 10:22am
Back | Next
Photo by Jim Blaylock Pre-k pupils at Learning, Laughter and Love Child Enrichment Center in Grovetown make their fruit selection for their afternoon snack  Photo by Jim Blaylock Pre-k pupils at Learning, Laughter and Love Child Enrichment Center in Grovetown make their fruit selection for their afternoon snack
Photo by Jim Blaylock Pre-k pupils at Learning, Laughter and Love Child Enrichment Center in Grovetown make their fruit selection for their afternoon snack
Photo by Jim Blaylock Pre-k pupils at Learning, Laughter and Love Child Enrichment Center in Grovetown make their fruit selection for their afternoon snack


Snack time at a Grovetown child care center is a little juicier these days.

There’s a lot more fresh fruit offered to children at the Learning, Laughter and Love Child Enrichment Center on Wrightsboro Road, thanks to a state grant.

The one-year Caregivers Promoting Healthy Habits grant, administered by the state Department of Early Care and Learning, aims to teach children to eat healthier and be more physically active.

“We’ve redesigned our snacks and that’s a huge thing,” Director Deena Youngblood said.

At snack time on Wednesday, pre-K pupil Grant Burpee, 5, chose a handful of purple grapes.

“All fruits and vegetables are good for you,” Grant told his friends as he popped grapes into his mouth.

The children talked about what their favorite fruits were as they munched on melon, strawberries, oranges and kiwi.

After they finished, the only things left on the table were orange rinds and empty water glasses.

“They love fresh fruit,” pre-K teacher Nancy Cole said.

A few times a week, Youngblood said the traditional cracker-type snack is replaced with fresh fruit. They’ve also cut serving sugary fruit juice back to twice a week in an effort to offer healthier choices to the children.

“They have a variety and they can choose what they want,” Youngblood said. “When they make the choices, they are more likely to eat it and stay with it.”

The $3,000 grant, which Youngblood started implementing March 1, also allowed her to contract a dietician to help redesign the lunch menus to make them healthier, but still appetizing for the children.

As a special treat, and an experiment, Youngblood said she bought a small tiki bar to make fruit smoothies.

“We’re going to set up a juice bar once a week,” Youngblood said. “We’ll have a tray of fruits. They’ll pick it and we’ll blend it.”

The smoothies, made with the fruit and yogurt, is a fun way to let the children try new fruits.

In addition to eating more fruits and vegetables, Youngblood is helping her pupils grow them. With the help of Evans High School horticulture students, the children will be tending to a 20-by-40 foot garden plot planted with a variety of edibles, including tomatoes, watermelon, squash, cucumbers and zucchini.

“We’ve got kid-sized hoes, kid-sized wheelbarrows,” Youngblood said. “They will actually be doing all the planting.”

They’ll plant tomatoes and other vegetables inside a few overturned tires for the little ones, who might otherwise tromp on their plants.

The garden also provides an outdoor classroom to learn about the sun and rain and how they affect the plants.

“We also think that making this garden, if (the children) grow the fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to eat it,” Youngblood said. “I’m hoping that through this process, they learn to love growing food and be willing to try new foods and things like that.”

The children also are enjoying a little more physical activity. Twice a week, a fitness coordinator leads children in Zumba, yoga, Pilates and Ceroc, a fusion of Salsa and Jive dances, Youngblood said.

“What we want to teach them is you don’t have to walk,” Youngblood said. “You don’t have to jog. You don’t have to do Pilates. You don’t have to do aerobics. But you do need to pick something.”

Youngblood said she just hopes the activities help children learn to make better food choices and be physically active. Those good habits, she said, can affect the child’s health and fitness for a lifetime.

  • Comment

Comments (9)


From which we dare to do

From which we dare to do things that could also work great for us that would be one of a kind. - Marla Ahlgrimm


The parents will like very

The parents will like very much this initiative. Children should be taught from an early age to eat healthy and to do sports. Also, they should be encouraged more often to choose fruits, like the fresh ones from over sweets and cakes.


I always wanted to be a dentist

This is very good site.Thank you for the information.
With more than 27 years in practice, Dr. Wych has become one of the most well regarded and respected general and cosmetic dentists in the region – renowned for his expertise, good results as well as his gentle and relaxing approach. Taking extra care to perform painless procedures, Dr. Wych has essentially transformed the typically unwelcome dental visit into a comfortable and stress-free experience.
Dentist Columbia SC

kenu lorsen

This is a great news,

This is a great news, children should get used to eating healthy foods and to replace the sweets with fresh fruits. The Virginia peanuts are also a healthy treat not only for children, but also for adults, but they should be eaten in small quantities. These natural oils are a better source of energy compared to the butter and sunflower oil.


Healthy food for these kids

Healthy food for these kids means their overall health condition should improve over time, the grant is something these children really needed. Being children though means they also love to eat all kind of snacks outside the school program, so having regular dentist check-ups is a must for them. The sedation dentistry in Richmond, VA is a good choice for them, discovering teeth cavities in useful time can save their teeth.


GREAT POST!! Parent should

GREAT POST!! Parent should teach their children to eat more fruits than junk foods. If they will eat healthy foods they will be more active in school or other outdoor activities.
buy soundcloud downloads


Cheers to this information,

Cheers to this information, this is a big help for a parents to encourage their child to eat nutritious food rather than eating junk foods. thank you for this great site . more powers ...

try to visit this site .. this is real and usable ..
how to buy followers on instagram

Mary Chavez

It is certainly a grand news

It is certainly a grand news for the kids and their parents. Thanks to this grant now the kids are being able to have fresh and nutritious fruits and vegetables. However, the daycare center should use the right vending carts to distribute these items among the children. They could find affordable carts at



Hey, Good Day! You have written a great article about a great topic. After I read your article I was happy that there are still people who helps the children, I am happy to have visited your
site and gain helpful information.

buy soundcloud downloads

Follow News-Times:

News-Times Video »


  • Main: 706-868-1222
  • Fax: 706-823-6062
  • Email:
  • 4272 Washington Rd, Suite 3B, Evans, Ga. 30809