Schools Should Provide Students with More Healthy Food Options, Encourages Staten Island Pediatrician

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In response to an article published by, Dr. Demetrios Gabriel says schools and city officials should start providing children with a wider range of healthy choices in school cafeterias.

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Dr. Demetrios Gabriel responds to an article published on February 20 by, which discusses the initiative taken by a Rochester Heath advocacy group to introduce school children to healthy fruits during their lunch period.

According to a February 20th article published by Democratic & Chronicle titled “Programs at city schools connect kids with healthy choices,” the James P.B. Duffy School No. 12 in Rochester hosted an “apple variety-tasting session” during the school’s lunch period. The event was put on by local food advocacy organization Headwater Foods and funded by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation. The initiative was part of a $2 million grant given by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation as an effort aimed to reducing childhood obesity.

The city’s efforts paid off as a majority of the students were satisfied with the apples they had been given. "The Empires [an apple variety] taste a little sour, but I like it!" was the response of an eight year-old student. At the event, students also voted on their favorites with sticky notes, preferring Empires and Ida Reds in a landslide. It was noted that while the event took place, many kids forget about bad food choices like chicken nuggets and gravies. Instead, they were actively engaged in the healthy food choices.

Dr. Demetrios Gabriel says schools and health organizations should strive to provide students with a health-boosting atmosphere. “Given the current obesity rates among children, it is very important to surround kids with an environment that encourages health and wellness,” he explains. “The health risks should be enough to keep unhealthy foods off the lunch menu. Proper nutrition starts at home but schools and health organizations should continue the trend at the school cafeteria.”

Gabriel Pediatrics provides comprehensive pediatric care to children throughout the New York area with practices both in Brooklyn and Staten Island. Our board certified pediatricians and experienced staff help provide a very warm and nurturing environment for both you and your children. Our approach combines the latest treatment methods with the personal attention you should expect from your doctor. Simply put, we understand the importance of communication and trust and we are earning that trust one family at a time.

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Scott Darrohn
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