Douglas County (CO) School District (DCSD) Nutrition Services plans to officially kick off its Second Annual Put-Away-5-A-Day Fruits & Veggies Challenge on Tuesday, October 29 at Ben Franklin Academy.

“We’re looking forward to an awesome fall day of grilling with students of Ben Franklin Academy," says District Chef Jason Morse, CEC. "We’ll literally roast tons of veggies and mull mountains of cherries. Enjoy some hot cider.  Play some tunes, some great minute-to-win-it games and give out fun prizes. This is going to "rock-tober" and students are going to Love their Veggies!”

“The Fruits & Veggies Challenge is all about our mission to support the DCSD community with resources which promote optimum wellness and learning,” explains Nutrition Services Director Brent Craig.

During the district-wide challenge October 29 through December 12, elementary students and their families will be encouraged to eat five produce servings each day. As enticement, Nutrition Services will host two individual student contests and a school-wide contest.

The elementary site in which students consume the most produce (per capita) will be awarded a free gourmet luncheon catered by Chef Morse and his team.

“The beauty of the three contests is how students learn the value of eating five servings of produce each day. The challenge is a fun, friendly way to make the point,” says Craig.

The first contest asks students to take the Put-Away-5-A-Day Pledge on a fun Coloring Sheet. Those who do and return it to their kitchen manager will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 School Lunch Certificate. The student who wants to step things up a notch can also play the Put-Away-5-4-LIFE game.

“The goal behind the ‘5-4- Life’ game is to make stepped-up produce consumption habit forming," Craig says. "Students are asked to chart daily personal produce intake.”

The reward for eating five produce items over the course of the challenge is entry into a drawing with Grand Prize, including a $50 Lunch Certificate plus a Popcorn&Movies-for-4 Pak (Total Value: $112). The Runner-Up earns a $25 Lunch Certificate plus Popcorn&Movies-4-2 Pak (Total Value: $56).