Dannika Harris writes, This day and age it’s hard to have a healthy but tasty lunch at school.

This day and age it’s hard to have a healthy but tasty lunch at school. With all the budget cuts and lack of school funding, lunch has been put on hold. I went to Laredo Elementary School and learned about the Go, Slow, Whoa Healthy Eating Program. Each student is taught the three colors of a traffic light. GO (green) Examples of food are fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. (low in saturated fats and dietary cholesterol) SLOW (yellow) Examples of food are pancakes, bagels, dark meat, chicken, and turkey sausage. (high calorie and higher fat foods) WHOA (red) Examples of food are fried foods, fatty meats, soda, and fatty snack foods. (high in saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and high sugar) GO foods you can eat any time, SLOW foods you can eat two or three times a day, and WHOA foods you can eat once a day. I got the honor of having lunch with Mrs. Ferguson’s third grade class and they showed me how to go through the lunch line properly. It was so fun and exciting to see all the choices the kids had to pick out for their lunch. Everything was marked with the light signal signs so no one was confused. Not even me. I asked some of the kids if they like all the choices you get? Jessica said ” The food is good, I like all the GO foods”. I like to eat them at home too. Alissa said she likes the grapes and milk, both of them are on the GO sign. Isaiah said “The food is tasty. I like the cheeseburger, pudding, and grapes”. Leann Hepburn (physical education teacher) or P.E. for short, has seen a huge difference in eating healthier. The students have better attention and more focus in class. I asked Ms. Hepburn why she wanted to be a part of this program? She said “The GO, SLOW, WHAO program reinforces everything I teach my students in P.E. class. It’s a great application of thier knowledge. They actually get to practice making good nutrition choices here in our very own cafeteria everyday! That is why I wanted to be apart of this really cool program!” I wanted to know if it was harder to prepare meals now with all the fresh fruits and veggies? Lori Madrigal (Assitant Manager of the lunch room) said “NO, it’s actually easier, our prep time is a lot faster”. She also stated that the program teaches kids to be good eaters and it will follow them to adulthood. The lunch room staff is doing a great job because the kids that eat there has increased. I would eat there everyday if our school had all the fantastik choices to choose from. I would like to thank all the wonderful kids and staff at Laredo Elementary School for teaching me about the GO-SLOW-WHOA program. Thank You so much for letting me be a part of your school. Mrs. Ferguson class YOU ALL ROCK! If you would like to find out more info about this program check out http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/eat-right/choosing-foods.htm Thank you to the supporters of the GO, SLOW, WHOA Health Eating Program. Live Well Colorado, Denver’s 7, Azteca America Colorado, and Aurora Public Schools. www.livewellcolorado.org