OKANOGAN – Brussels sprouts earned a lot of thumbs up responses from Virginia Grainger Elementary School fourth-graders during taste test last week.

Each day, elementary students get to try a new fruit or vegetable with their hot lunch, said teacher Jancey Marsh.

Produce is provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s fresh fruit and vegetable program, with the goal of introducing elementary school children to a variety of product they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample. The program also is aimed at increasing overall acceptance and consumption of fresh, unprocessed product among children.

Last week’s offering was a bag of fresh brussels sprouts, along with information to share with families.

“Many students wanted to throw the brussels sprouts in the garbage instead of taking them home,” Marsh said.

As an alternative, she offered to cook the fresh veggies up for students to try.

“Each student was asked to try one bite of the new veggie,” she said. “If they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to eat any more. The result? The majority of the students really enjoyed the cooked brussels sprouts and agreed they would like to eat more of them in the future.”

She said the program is a great one for the students.

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