St. Paul Public Schools and HealthPartners are kicking off a new pilot program Tuesday that aims to get elementary school students eating more fruits and vegetables.
About 7,500 students in 21 schools are participating in the program, including nine St. Paul Public Schools.
The four-week program gives kids incentives and a system for tracking their intake of fruits and vegetables, said Donna Zimmerman of HealthPartners.
"We know that over time we can change behavior and that tracking your actual intake of foods will actually help you to understand and increase the fruits and veggies to the recommended five a day," she said.
Zimmerman says kids consume about half of their daily calories during the school day, so school nutrition is a critical component in addressing the obesity epidemic. Schools that participate in the program have a chance to win grants of $300 to $500.