MISSOULA, Mont. - Kale chips were in the lunch lines of all MCPS facilities on Wednesday to mark National Kale Day. Hundreds of pounds of the leafy vegetable were harvested for the chips, both from MCPS lots and from the PEAS Farm in the Rattlesnake.
Jason Mandala, Garden City Harvest's director of farm-to-school programs, says the nutrients in kale make it a so-called "superfood," which can help boost a person's health. Mandala even says it could help prevent cancer.
"We don't usually tell the kids that," says Mandala. "We try to keep it positive."
The kids he's referring to on this day are a couple dozen first grade students from Russell Elementary.
Around 2,500 students come and tour the PEAS Farm each year. Instead of chips, they got to experience the raw version of kale, both the deep purple and more lettuce-like green versions.
Mandala puts on a show of enthusiasm for the kids to get them to not immediately dismiss the vegetable. "Kale is a superhero food," he tells them.
After all, Mandala maintains there is a secret to getting kids to try kale. He says, "If you show that enthusiasm and build a story around it, they're more likely to try it."