Local Students Make Healthy Choices

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Leon County schools are taking aim at childhood obesity by introducing a new line of fruit drinks in school lunchrooms across the district. Officials hope the drinks will tempt the taste buds of teens to make healthier choices.

Fourteen Leon County middle and high schools are trying the fruit drinks. It's a pilot program sponsored by the Florida Citrus Commission. Friday, the Leon Lions were in line for a taste.

Leon County schools are taking a bite out of childhood obesity by serving samples of Flavor Rush. Leon High is the latest in a string of schools to test their taste buds on the new fruit drink.

Tim Tankersley of Leon County Schools Food Services says, "100 percent fruit juice blend developed by the Florida Fruit Juice Commission geared toward the taste buds of younger generation in hopes it will it get them to drink rather than sugar added soft drinks."

The berry beverage is just the latest step to get kids eating and drinking healthy at school. Several schools like Belle Vue Middle are already dishing out side salads, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Bud Baker, a Leon High School student, says, "Kids look more for taste, so if find a way to make healthy foods taste good I'm sure [it will] help."

It’ll help fight the growing problem of childhood obesity and stress to kids that “you are what you eat.”

The fruit drinks will be sold in school vending machines for one year. The sales will be monitored to see if they'll remain.

Tim Tankersley adds, “Kids are choosing the healthier foods over the usual fare in lunchrooms. If you look at his fresh fruit and produce bill you will see kids are choosing healthier when given a choice.”