Thomasville-- When it comes to food, kids can be hard to please. They know what they like. "Chicken strips, burgers, tacos. . . stuff like that," Cory Knight lists among his favorites. Sixth grader Raven Scott says, "I normally eat sandwiches and I eat steak."
When it comes to making them happy, and making it good for them, a nutritionist's job can be challenging. But Karen Green, Thomas County school system's nutritional director does it well.
That's why she was picked as director of the year for the entire state. "I try to plan foods that they like but that are nutritious, well-balanced, of course. Which that's supposed to be a secret, the kids don't know it that they're eating something healthy," says Green.
They know more than you might think, but they definitely like their options. "I think they try to make it good for us and try to always give us vegetables and fruit to go along with it, but also give us stuff that's good, makes us want to eat it," says Scott.
Green goes beyond what the kids are eating when they're in the lunchroom. "Try to make the cafeteria a learning laboratory and a place that children are excited to come and visit," says Green.
And these young minds certainly seemed to be informed. "You gotta be healthy, and you gotta be good for the day," says Knight.
Because its that nutritious food that fuels their brains for the rest of their school day. "It helps your mind while you're working. It keeps your stomach full and not thinking about what you're gonna eat and keeps you focused on your work," says Scott.
Green adds, "it does help their academic score, no doubt about it." The school system also gives their students breakfast for free to ensure they get a boost right from the start each and every day.