Colorado School Holding Fruit- and Vegetable-Eating Competitions in Cafeteria

By Susan Jones | May 31, 2012 | 8:54 AM EDT

( - A Colorado elementary school is holding lunchroom competitions to get children to eat their fruits and vegetables.

Students, split into red and blue teams, are asked to raise their hands when they've finished eating the fruits and vegetables ladled out by cafeteria workers, the Denver Post reported.

Students have a choice of putting the day's fruit and vegetables offerings on their cafeteria trays, and more of them did so when they were competing for prizes.

According to the paper, the team winning the most points (in this case, for eating the most carrots and kiwis) wins prizes such as fruit smoothies.

The competition at Franktown Elementary, staged by the Douglas County School District’s Nutrition Services Department, is part of a pilot program, the Denver Post reported.

Brent Craig, director of nutrition services, told the paper the competitions help track who is actually eating their fruits and vegetables.

"It raises children’s awareness behind the benefits of having proper nutrition habits,” Franktown Principal Mark Harrell was quoted as saying.

Nutrition Services wants to hold the competitions regularly next year in all 54 Douglas County elementary schools.