Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program

banana_FFVPActionLeagueWe received over 400 entries from 8 Boston Public Schools: Bates Elementary, Condon Elementary, Higginson Elementary, Jackson Mann K-8, Kilmer K-8, Lyndon K-8, P.J. Kennedy Elementary, and Sarah Greenwood K-8.

Our new superheroes in the Fruit and Veggie Action League range from Papa Potato and Corny the Cobbler to the Horned Melon and his side kick Rambutan.  These fruit and veggie superheroes help people stay healthy and strong while fighting bad guys and curing bee stings.

Thanks again to all of our participants for your creativity and for helping us form the Fruit and Veggie Action League!

Below are our winning superhero posters sorted by grade level:

Winners from Grades 1-3Condon_JDang_XTejeda_FFVP2015_superheroes



Winners from Grades 4-5Kilmer_FFVP2015_superheroesPJKennedy_group_FFVP2015_superheroes



Winners from Grades 6-8JacksonMann_AbigailNavarro_FFVP2015_superheroesJacksonMann_JenniferPelaez_FFVP2015_superheroesBest Comic Strips from All Grade Levels





MARCH is National Nutrition Month!

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, BPS Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is looking for a team of fruit and vegetable superheroes to help us fight hunger and support healthy kids!

FFVP is a USDA grant funded program the provides additional fresh fruits and veggies during the school day at select schools.  These fruit and veggie snacks are served in the classroom, above and beyond what is already offered during breakfast and lunch.  This year, FFVP is operating in 31 BPS elementary/K-8 schools and has served a variety of citrus, snap peas, mini cucumbers, kiwi slices and much more.

The FFVP Action League is looking for your…

BEST Fruit Superhero
BEST Vegetable Superhero
BEST Super Power

Bonus points if you create a comic strip featuring your fruit and veggie superheroes and their super powers.

Fruit and Veggie Superhero submissions will be accepted through April 17th, 2015 from the 31 FFVP schools.  For poster contest guidelines please click here.

Tune in this spring to meet the winners of the FFVP Action League Poster Contest!


Is your elemementary school interested in the FFVP for next year?  Contact our FFVP Program Manager, Lauren Kaskey at LKaskey[at] for more details.





The application for FFVP for the 2014-2015 school year is now open!

The USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federally funded program that provides fresh produce snacks (beyond school lunch and breakfast programs) to elementary schools during the school day.

For the first time ever, all Boston Public Elementary Schools are eligible to apply due to the district’s Community Eligibility status.

Why should you apply for FFVP at your elementary school?

The Fresh and Fruit and Vegetable Program is a chance for our students to receive an additional serving of fruits and vegetables during the school day, an opportunity to increase their familiarity with different fruits and vegetables and a chance to encourage lifelong healthier snacking habits.

If interested, click here to download the application form.  Email completed forms to Mackenzie Sehlke (msehlke[at] by close of business on May 16, 2014. NO late applications will be considered. Please contact Mackenzie if you have any questions regarding the program application process.

February is American Heart Month! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, American Heart Month and fresh produce than by making Heart Healthy Valentines.


Try making fruit kabobs and yogurt dip or red pepper and humus for Valentine’s Day. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut my pineapple, but you can use any shape or fruit you like. Red peppers and white humus mimic Valentine’s Day colors, and are full of nutrients that promote a strong heart.


Give your sweetheart a healthy Valentine and keep their heart healthy all year long!

Fruit Kabobs with Fluffy Fruit Dip
6 servings

Ingredients for dip:
1 cup fruit-flavored, low-fat yogurt
1 cup fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon honey

Ingredients for kabobs:
6 to 8 pineapple chunks
6 to 8 whole strawberries
1 banana, cut into 1⁄2 chunks
6 to 8 red or green grapes
6 wooden skewers

1. In a small bowl, make dip by mixing together yogurt, whipped topping and honey.
2. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
3. Thread one piece of each fruit onto a skewer.
4. Repeat until the fruit is gone or skewers are full.
5. Serve with dip.
Variation: Use any of your kids’ favorite fruits.
Serving size: 1/6 of recipe

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 64 Fat: 0.4 g Saturated fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 1.9 mg Sodium: 26 mg Carbohydrates: 16.5 g
Fiber: 1.1 g Protein: 2.5 g

Recipe provided courtesy of Eat Right Press, from Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens


When I say “winter”, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Perhaps you think of snow, the holidays, hot chocolate, cups of soup and warm slippers. But winter has a secret, citrus surprise. If you are a fresh fruit and vegetable enthusiast, winter is the best time to get your vitamin C boost. Blood oranges are blooming, lemons are lovely and if you are looking for a lime, look no further.


The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is taking full advantage of the winter citrus season. We are serving tangerines, clementines, minneolas, Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges and satsumas. Students are learning about the immune system boosting benefits of vitamin C and about how sailors ate citrus to prevent scurvy.

Eating winter citrus is one great way to get your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.  Tangerines, clementines and mandarins are small, sweet, and easy to peel. One medium orange is worth about  1 serving of fruit.

Did you know that grapes are actually berries? Did you know that the vitamin K found in fresh fruits and vegetables plays an important role in blood clotting and bone health? The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is teaching BPS elementary students these fruit facts and many more!


Nancy Urena, FFVP Onsite Coordinator from the JF Kennedy Elementary School in Jamaica Plain.

What is the “Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program”?

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federally funded program providing additional servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to students in participating elementary schools during the school day. The goal of the FFVP is to improve children’s overall diet and create healthier eating habits to impact their present and future health.

This year FFVP is serving up healthy, fresh produce snacks 3-4 times a week in 27 Boston Public Schools.  This program is not only increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption, it is also expanding the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience.

So far this year students have tried pineapples, grape tomatoes, sugar snap  peas, baby bananas, satsumas and more! Stay tuned for other produce trivia, fun lessons for kids, and facts about local foods from FFVP this year!



map-at-condonThis spring, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is educating students about where their favorite snacks are grown. At the Condon Elementary School in South Boston, students and teachers decorated a map of the United States with images of the different fruits and vegetables that have been served through FFVP this year.  The map is helping students visualize where their snacks are coming from across the country. Similarly, students in Ms. Madden’s art class at the Russell Elementary School created 3-D images of their favorite snacks with decoupage and paper mache and mapped out where these fresh fruits and vegetables were grown.

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week here in Boston and we at BPS Food and Nutrition Services, recognize that distributing these healthy snacks during the school day may take extra time and effort from our educators. BPS’ FFVP would like to recognize teachers like Ms. Madden who have made sure their students are also learning about and trying these new fruits and veggies each week.  Teachers across the city are connecting FFVP snacks with lessons on healthy eating, discussions about seeds in fruits and vegetables, and persuasive writing exercises.

Thank you teachers and school staff for all you do to help make sure our students have increased access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables each week!


This Thursday 3/7/13 all Boston Public Schools will feature Minneolas for breakfast in celebration of National School Breakfast Week.


What is a Minneola?

– Minneolas are a unique citrus fruit that are seasonally available during the winter months

– Minneolas, also known as Honeybells for their bell-like shape, are a hybrid between a grapefruit and a tangerine

– These citrus fruits are a good source of Dietary Fiber and an excellent source of Folate and Vitamin C

This easy to peel fruit has been well received in 27 schools through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program this year, so we wanted to make them available to more students!

So come to school on Thursday and try a Minneola for Breakfast!

Happy February!

Although it has been cold, a lot has been happening inside with the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). Children who have participated in the program have tasted more than 30 different types of fresh fruits and vegetables with FFVP during school year 2012-2013. The variety of produce has ranged from persimmons and avocadoes to sugar snap peas and grape tomatoes.

FFVP-Mather-ScienceClassSY13Ms. Baszkiewicz, a science teacher at the Mather School in Dorchester is a champion of nutrition and food based education and connecting the FFVP with her curriculum.  Phoebe, our FFVP Coordinator, had the honor of being a guest in Ms. Baszkiewicz’s science class to talk about heirloom apples and play Nutrition Bingo.

Stay tuned for more exciting things going on this spring with FFVP!

Happy Food Day!

Food Day is a special day that celebrates healthy, locally grown food and encourage people to understand where their food comes from, how it is made, and why we need to eat healthier as a country.

BPS celebrated Food Day along with the kickoff of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) at three participating  elementary schools including the Mather, Nathan Hale, and Sarah Greenwood.

Two special guests, Jillian the Giraffe and Ranger Ray, from Whitsons joined the fun to talked with students about Jillian’s love for fruits and vegetables and how important it is for students to eat their fruits and vegetables.

At the Sarah Greenwood, FFVP Program Coordinator, Phoebe Flemming also read What’s on My Plate to students as they chowed down on grape tomatoes and locally grown apples. Other FFVP snacks this week included carrot sticks and Bosc pears.

We are grateful to the FFVP on-site coordinators, principals, teachers, and everyone else who helps make this wonderful program run. Thank you!

How did YOU celebrate Food Day?

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