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1st graders take field trip to grocery store

December 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Lots of schools allow field trips for hands-on education. That's why one Long Beach elementary school let first graders out of the classroom and into the grocery store. But the kids learned far more than just about nutrition. First graders at Minnie Gant Elementary School in Long Beach are getting a taste of shopping smart.

Finding out about sugar and fiber content in their favorite foods was a tough lesson for the kids. They were all disappointed to find their brand is high in sugar and low in fiber, which they now understand is considered a sometimes food, not an always food.

After labels101, the class headed to the produce section, where the always foods are located. This stop in the grocery store involved a taste test and quiz.

"They take that information, they bring it back. They talk about sometimes, always foods with the kids again and they live it," said Albertsons dietitian Heidi Diller.

Albertsons offers a non-vendor-funded program spear headed by Diller, who started it five years ago. Now 300,000 children have experienced what she calls a live learning laboratory.

"In the produce section we're trying to teach them about the colors of food. How red foods are good for your heart and blue foods, like blueberries, are good for your brain, and kiwis are good for your eyes," said Diller.

Along with nutrition, these kids are also learning a little philanthropy. Their teacher Ms. Gerianne Smith wants them to understand that beyond health, there's hunger.

"They've earned money and we're going to buy canned goods and things to donate to the Basket Brigade," said Smith.

The kids did chores to raise $50 for the Long Beach Basket Brigade, a local charity that donates to those less fortunate. Then they scouted the aisles to buy the goods. Finally, they took the city bus home for yet another lesson, on transportation.


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