Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren - The School-Lunch Test

Monday, September 18 2006 at 16:44

It was not yet 11 a.m. at the Partin Settlement Elementary School in Kissimmee, Fla., on a sunny day last October. But lunch service necessarily begins early when there are 838 children to feed, and the meal was already well under way. Danielle Hollar walked calmly amid the lunchroom chaos, holding a large, raw, uncut sweet potato in one hand and a tray filled with tiny cups of puréed sweet potatoes in the other. That Hollar does not get frazzled even among hundreds of jabbering children is one of the talents she brings to her job. That she is tall and blond and slim, and many of the students seem to have school-kid crushes on her, is another.

“This is a sweet potato,” she said, as she stopped at each table and gave each child a purée sample. “It has a lot of vitamin A and C and B6. Have you ever seen one of these?” Most of the children had not. “It’s like a regular potato, but it’s orange inside,” she said, which got their attention. “It has a lot more vitamins than a white potato.”

Find out more about Healthier Options for Public Schoolchildren program initiated by Dr. Agatston, South Beach diet's creator, at