Eating fruits and vegetables are an essential part of our diets to stay healthy...

But eating the same ones can get boring.. Especially when it comes to vegetables.

That's what led one nutritionist to using Harvest of the Month.

Nutrition and Wellness Specialist Kelsey Rounds says, "It started out in California I don't know how many years ago but I heard about it and looked into it and I thought well I can do this, this isn't that hard. Just put some fresh fruit and veggies on the menu and so I went ahead with it."

Harvest of the Month is an initiative to highlight seasonal and when possible, local produce on the school lunch menus.

Rounds says, "My main goal is expose students to new fruits and vegetables. Hopefully if they like something they go home and tell their parents and it becomes a regular menu item. Some months I choose items that students have definitely eaten before such as apples, watermelon, corn on the cob, but those are all items that we purchase from local farms."

Other months, the menu item may be something more adventurous.

Round says, "We try items that maybe students have not had before, maybe they're not familiar with. In the fall we had butternut squash and turnips. In February we had beets in march we actually tried a grain, we had wild rice and last month the focus was beans so we had hummus and black bean salsa and now this month we're focusing on spinach and snap peas."

Harvest of the Month items are highlighted on the elementary school menus but the middle schools and high schools have the options as well.

Kelsey says she plans to continue Harvest of the Month.

--KEYC News 12