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Kids eat healthy school lunch because they grow it themselves

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DENVER — Obesity rates are skyrocketing nationwide and even though Colorado is one of the most healthy states, studies show one in four of Colorado’s children are obese or overweight.

There is one Denver school that refuses to be a part of the statistics. Denver Green School is living up to its name, and the students themselves are digging in to make sure they get nothing but the best.

They’ve created a garden with fresh foods right from the backyard of the school.

You may be surprised by what you find on their lunch plates. No French fries or burgers. No pizza or ice cream.

You will find a lot of fresh vegetables, and most of them are grown by the students.

“The lunches here at school are delicious and nutritious because of the farm to school garden in our field behind the school,” says 7th grader Brenda Reider.

Administrators say the garden is changing the way kids view healthy foods. “I really like the carrots from the garden they are yummy and have flavor and I also like turnips,” Brenda says.

“My favorite is carrots and there’s also other kinds like tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower,” says 3rd grader Aiden Bane.

You’ll find fresh cut potatoes with onions and squash in the kitchen, along with a buffet full of kiwi, peaches, carrots, peas. And among the kids’ favorites: fresh baked bread.

Cook Adam Fisher says it’s about cooking from scratch. “I think if you can see the reaction of the kids to be able to smell the bread baking, to know that they are actually making the food here fresh for them daily it really does effect the choices the kids make”

“When they know that it’s fresh vegetables from the garden that they have helped to plant, seed and till they are going to be more apt to try it on this end,” he says.

“You get to try lots of new vegetables that you’ve never had,” Aiden says. Who would’ve thought a 3rd grader would be excited about that?

Denver Green School partnered with Sprout City Farms, a nonprofit urban agriculture organization, to make the program possible. About 150 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables are delivered to the school every week thanks to local and state funding.