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Pre-K students make their own snacks, learn about healthy meals

With the help of a nutrition expert, Southwest Pre-K students spread peanut butter on a whole grain tortilla and then added sliced bananas before enjoying their nutritious morning snack.
The idea of the exercise, conducted in the campus cafeteria, was to teach young children about the importance of eating healthy meals, said our guest, Ms. Melissa Ceballos, nutrition education expert at the Houston Food Bank. Two dozen students participated last week.
The food bank runs a Kids Cafe program, a collaboration of chefs, dietitians, students and volunteers. By providing nutritious meals and snacks, Kids Cafe helps start children on the right path for success.
A handout touting urges people to make plates with fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.
According to a Houston Food Bank "fact sheet," 5,000 children will go to bed hungry on a typical day in southeast Texas. It stated that children without proper nutrition "have difficulties concentrating in school, experience tardiness and are more prone to chronic illness that can hinder proper growth development."
Launched nationally in 1993, more than 1,200 Kid Cafes now operate in the United States through Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity.
Ms. Ceballos also conducted a workshop for parents in the same cafeteria. On Friday morning, some Varnett parents will go on a healthy grocery tour at the Foodarama, 10810 S. Post Oak, Houston, TX 77035.
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