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Sunshine Seniors offer lessons on food thats good for you
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Mattie McCrary demonstrates how to make a bag out of old jeans Friday to a Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School third-grade class. - photo by Tom Reed

The Sunshine Seniors are all about good taste — and food that’s good for you, too.

Part of the mission of this local group also is to teach kids about how to eat healthy, showing them how to add fruits and vegetables to their diets.

So, on Friday four women from the senior organization visited with third-grade classes at Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School in Gainesville and gave demonstrations on how to eat healthier and do some fun things around the house.

"They taught me how to decorate a room and how to make collard greens," said Caleb Womack, 8, a student in Jennifer Nish’s class. "I learned you can be healthy and you can live longer."

The Sunshine Seniors, which promotes healthy living through community service, sells fruits and vegetables each week throughout the summer and early fall on Thursdays and Fridays at the Fair Street school, too.

Elizabeth Westbrooks, 81, leads the senior group and said she thinks students and parents are starting to catch on and are living a healthier life.

"Parents aren’t going to McDonald’s as much," Westbrooks said as she recalled the days when she was raising her own kids. "We cooked for our kids every day. I gave them peanut butter and jelly until the beans came in."

And other Sunshine Seniors members agreed that snacks in their homes were healthy when they raised their children. Betty Hopkins said she made her children green beans, cabbage, corn bread or biscuits for their after-school snack.

"We would recycle food from the morning," Minnie Moody said. "If we had rice in the morning then we would have rice pudding at night."

To demonstrate healthier eating, Hopkins showed the children how to make hot apple pies — but healthier.

She used cooked apples and bread for the snack. The cooked apples were spread, with a little butter, on sliced bread and cooked in a sandwich maker.

"I liked learning how to make apple pie," said Sparkle Cummings, 8. "It is good to eat healthy because, if you don’t, you’ll get sick and die."

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