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Who Knew Salad Could Be So Much Fun?

April 5, 2014 | Community News

2014-02-19 19.08.57At Belmar Elementary School, one good idea led to another, and another, until there was a recipe book full of good ideas.

After reading a newspaper article about an elementary school’s healthy chopped salad contest, Lisa Lee, field representative for Disease Control and School Health Council project coordinator for the Monmouth County Health Department, shares the story with the School Health Councils at the Belmar Elementary School and the Farmingdale Elementary School.

The School Health Council at Belmar ran with it. On February 19, Belmar Elementary students and parents participated in the first Belmar Chopped Healthy Salad Competition. Fifteen children, representing pre-K through 8th grade, created a variety of salads (with some parental assistance) and offered them for tasting by students, parents and judges.

The entries were as diverse as the school population. Ingredients included kale, edamame, homemade tortilla chips and sesame seeds, as well as staples like fruit and pasta. “Everybody couldn’t wait to taste the salads,” Lee commented about the fact that samples of each salad were distributed to the audience. “Children and parents were trying new flavors and realizing how delicious healthy ingredients can taste.”

Two first-place winners were chosen—a soy sauce salad and “summer day,” a mix of fruit and vegetables. The edamame and orange salad placed second, and the sesame chicken salad claimed third prize.

All the recipes were gathered into a recipe book that the School Health Council is selling as a fund-raiser to support the school garden. With 80 books sold to date, expect more healthy salads on Belmar dinner plates this spring and summer.

The Belmar School Health Council hopes to make this an annual event and hinted that healthy desserts may be the focus in 2015.

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