The Hawaii Department of Education continues its efforts to include local agriculture in student meals.
Last month, it was locally grown beef. Now, the Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program is featuring local bananas.
The state is partnering with local farms across the state to serve fresh bananas at all public schools, in either banana pie or banana crumble for one day this month.
“By introducing a produce that is locally grown in Hawaii to our students each month, we hope to expand their palates and allow them to try new foods that they might not have been exposed to at home,” said Albert Scales, school food services branch administrator.
Scales said serving the bananas in a dessert would make it more appealing for students.
“Instead of serving raw bananas that students can peel and eat, we wanted to be creative,” he said. “Part of introducing new foods to children is making it fun for them. If the new food looks interesting, they’re more inclined to try it.”