“I really like it,” Julian Solis,1st grader at Trout Primary, said.

It was his first time trying grapefruit, and he wasn’t sure of the texture and taste at first, but then decided it was tasty.

Programs like the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP),a federally assisted program, provides free fresh fruits and vegetables to children at eligible elementary schools during the school day to introduce children to new and different varieties of fruits and vegetables.

“This is our second year to participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program,” said Amanda Calk, director of Student Nutrition Services. “ We are excited to have the ability to expose our students to some new foods that they may typically not try.”

The FFVP also encourages healthier school environments by promoting nutrition education.

“I encourage parents to ask their child about what they have tried at school and engage them in conversation about these items,” said Calk. “ As a Registered Dietitian, I love the nutrition education component to this program. Not only should children be encouraged to try new things, it’s a great idea to teach them more about the food they’re trying and why they are good for their growing bodies.”

Some of the facts the students learned this week are that grapefruits were originally called “forbidden fruit” or “Shaddocks” after Captain Shaddock who bred them. In the 1800s, they were renamed “grapefruit” because they grow in clusters similar to grapes.

The items will vary weekly. This week, the students at Trout Primary tried grapefruit (which are currently in season and at their peak of tastiness) and sweet potato sticks.

Caroline Nash, 1st grader at Trout Primary, said she has never tried grapefruit.

“It tastes sweet and sour, like an orange but better,” Nash said. “I would eat it again.”

Emma Eklund, 2nd grader at Trout Primary, was not fond of the grapefruit.

“It tastes like an orange but not sweet,” she said. “It feels like I’m eating the peeling.”

Other items could include, blood oranges, papaya, dragon fruit, jicama, snow peas, radishes, and English cucumbers.

Schools must operate the National School Lunch Program in order to apply for the FFVP. The FFVP prioritizes schools with the highest percentage of children certified as eligible for free and reduced price meals because children from low-income families generally have fewer opportunities to consume fresh produce on a regular basis.

“It’s this type of program that can initiate healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime,” Calk said.