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I need a list of different fruits I can introduce to our middle school.

If this is for a school cafeteria lunch program, we suggest introducing some fruits that kids may not be routinely exposed to, such as guava, papaya, mango, cherimoya and carambola if they are available. Try having themed days to get the kids excited about trying new foods. For example, a Hawaiian day could feature pineapple, guava, bananas and mango.

 If this list is for a school vending machine program, contact your local food supplier to see what pre-packaged fruits and vegetables are available. Depending on the type of vending machine, you could offer different fruits with dip and sturdier fruits such as apples, bananas and oranges.  Don’t forget canned or dried fruits or those in aseptic packaging which can be stored at room temperature.

 If this list is for a classroom function, again try introducing fruits that they may be unfamiliar with. You could also adopt a theme which would help the kids learn not only about the fruits but where they are grown and the importance they play in the culture.  Try playing a guessing game. Have the students taste the unfamiliar fruits and take a guess at what it is. Or simply show the whole fruit and have them take a guess.

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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