PA Apple Crunch

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The Crunch Heard ‘Round the State

During the month of October, the great Pennsylvania Apple Crunch takes center stage at schools across the state. In celebration of National Apple Month schools, community organizations, retailers, farm markets and the apple industry join forces to promote apples and apple products – such as juice, cider and sauce – as healthy snacks.

More than seven years ago the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital started the Apple Crunch program. Today, over 500 Pennsylvania schools take part in the program; teaching kids the importance of eating apples, as well as other fruits and vegetables, for staying healthy.

On this day, school cafeterias feature apples and apple recipes during school breakfast and lunch, classrooms conduct apple tastings and visit local orchards and farm markets; there are special apple-related classroom activities and lessons, as well as the popular storytelling of Johnny Appleseed.

Creating Good Eating Habits

The Pennsylvania Apple Crunch reinforces the importance of eating healthy. Children between the ages of 5 and 18 spend approximately 900 hours in school during a given year. With two of three suggested daily meals available to youth during the school day, schools can have a significant impact on students’ food choices.

As one of nature’s fast foods, apples can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. They provide children with valuable vitamins and minerals they need for good health. Plus, they’re fun to eat!

Farm market owners can get involved by:

  • Donating apples to a local school or youth group’s celebration.
  • Approaching a local school or youth group and offering to do a presentation on how apples grow, as well as the history of apples, and apples’ nutritional value.
  • Inviting local school and youth groups (4-H, Boy/Girl Scouts, etc.) to your farm market for a field trip.

Local retailers can get involved by:

  • Donating apples to a local school or youth group’s celebration.
  • Promoting the Apple Crunch day in-store to reinforce the healthy snacking message delivered in local schools.

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