Students in Pre-K through sixth grade may receive a reward for making healthy meal choices, according to Beccy Eckert, Nutrition Director. She said four schools in the area were chosen.

Children are given a number automatically for “reimbursable meals” by computer software as they come through the cafeteria line. Numbers are randomly chosen and students can receive prizes such as silicon wristbands, Frisbees and nutrition character trading cards.

Eckert said she thinks the program is working because consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has increased. The program is designed to entice children to eat in the cafeteria that may never have eaten there before and to educate on the importance of making healthy choices.

Eckert said she hope to see the program run until the Christmas break but it will depend on how supplies hold out. The prize items are a one-time promotion and will not be replenished.

“Anything that we can do to help educate our children I'm 100 percent behind,” Eckert said. “This program helps to increase children's knowledge of fresh fruits and vegetables.”

ANGELIA JOINER is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at angelia.joiner@empiretribune.com or 254-965-3124,ext. 238.