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Students learn tasty ways to eat more veggies

Students at Sparkman School snacked on mouth-watering roasted corn Tuesday thanks to the federally-funded Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Nutrition Program and a family-owned corn roasting business -on-wheels located in South Alabama.

Dady’s Roasted Corn from Geneva set up its mobile kitchen on the school parking lot at 8 a.m. and, despite a steady downpour, had 250 hot, buttered ears of Peaches and Cream sweet corn ready to serve in less than two hours.

Students ate the corn outside in a sheltered area during their PE classes.

“Each of our students gets a fresh vegetable or fruit snack every day,” said Sparkman School cafeteria manager Darlene Jewellson. “A wide variety is offered – one day it may be an apple and the next day carrot sticks.”

“It’s been a good program for us,” she added. “We tell the students if you haven’t eaten it before, try it.”

“Having an ear of roasted corn as a snack is a special treat,” she added.

“We are always looking for creative ways to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetablse into the student’s daily diet,” said Mary Beth Henry, child nutrition director for Morgan County Schools. “It builds good nutritional habit,s and the students really enjoy their fruit and veggie snacks.”

Dady’s Roasted Corn was scheduled to be at Falkville Elementary Wednesday and Cotaco School Thursday.

“We roast corn for school children throughout the state,” said Janice Dady, who started the business with her husband and his brother and wife, Cindy Dady, 10 years ago.

“While we are serving the students, we talk to them about the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily,” Dady said, “and we give each one an ‘Eat Vegetables’ sticker to wear.”

The corn is roasted in the shuck in a propane gas oven and kept hot in insulated containers. It’s served with a coating of low fat margarine.

Sparkman fifth graders Alex McDugald, Bobby Ray, Hunter Mayes and Floyd McNutt, from left, eat roasted corn as a mid-morning snack Tuesday. | Clif Knight
Sparkman fifth graders Alex McDugald, Bobby Ray, Hunter Mayes and Floyd McNutt, from left, eat roasted corn as a mid-morning snack Tuesday. | Clif Knight
Janice Dady checks on a batch of roasted corn in one of her company's propane gas cookers at Sparkman School Tuesday. | Clif Knight
Janice Dady checks on a batch of roasted corn in one of her company’s propane gas cookers at Sparkman School Tuesday. | Clif Knight

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