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BRG Helps Kids in Fourth Most Obese State Learn About Healthy Eating

  • Category: In the Community
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  • Written By: Baton Rouge General

Baton Rouge, La. – This week, second graders at Bernard Terrace Elementary School celebrated Harvest Day for the Teaching Garden they planted in February. Sponsored by Baton Rouge General and the Capital Area American Heart Association, the garden features squash, cucumbers, strawberries, peppers and more. BRG Chef Tabari Williamson incorporated some of the fruits and vegetables the kids have been growing into a special lunch for the Harvest Day celebration.

“Louisiana has many great qualities, but being ranked fourth in childhood obesity is one we are not proud of and that we are working to overcome,” said Dr. Kenny Cole, BRG Chief Clinical Transformation Officer and Capital Area American Heart Association president-elect. “Helping reshape eating habits literally from the ground up is a proven way to teach kids that fruits and vegetables aren’t just good for us – they’re also something we can be part of growing.”

According to the American Heart Association, french fries are the most common source of vegetables consumed by children and make up one-fourth of their vegetable intake. Juice, which may lack important fiber found in whole fruits and often contains excessive sugar, accounts for 40 percent of children’s daily fruit intake.

“The kids have learned so much through the teaching garden,” said Jeffrey Bender, second grade gifted teacher at Bernard Terrace Elementary School. “From watching plants grow to problem-solving bug infestations to trying new recipes, the garden has given them the opportunity to explore new things every week, and to learn where their food comes from.”

Photo: Mr. Bender’s class shows their “love” for learning about fruits and vegetables through the Teaching Garden sponsored by Baton Rouge General and the American Heart Association. Students are: Kaiden Allen, Anthony Addison, Jahne Anderson, Caleb Darensbourg, Aryana Evans, Ayden Griffin, London Joseph, Vivienne Leachman, Kailey Payton, Iyan Price, Kelly Rice, Kyleigh Royal, Gary Simpson, Ava Sterling, Aliah Varela. Pictured with the second graders are Jeffrey Bender, teacher at Bernard Terrace Elementary, and Tabari Williamson, Chef at Baton Rouge General.

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center

Baton Rouge General Medical Center is a full-service community hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. As the first hospital in the capital city, Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as a satellite campus of Tulane University School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.