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Kids can now buy cheap, healthy snacks after school

Teacher Cheryl Rutten sells a variety of healthy snacks after school including fruit and string cheese. Photo by Ashley Bergen.1 / 2
Cheryl Rutten, far right, sells healthy snacks to students at Perham's Prairie Wind Middle School. Photo by Ashey Bergen.2 / 2

Refueling energy after a long, grueling day at school is now fairly simple for students at Prairie Wind Middle School in Perham.

Beginning Jan. 6, Cheryl Rutten, health and physical education teacher, has been selling healthy snacks in the cafeteria. From about 3:15-3:40 p.m., she sells a variety of refrigerated items such as fruit, wraps, bagels, string cheese and yogurt. She also carries popcorn, Sun Chips, granola bars and Barrel O' Fun products.

Two weeks into the program and things are going well.

"It's been pretty popular," Rutten said.

Each item is about 50 cents or a dollar, and it works well for students to snack on before practice, while on the bus or while waiting for a ride.

Healthy eating at the Perham-Dent Public School District has been a staple for a while now. The vending machines no longer carry pop or candy. The plus of setting up a cart every day is students are able to get refrigerated things such as bagels with cream cheese. Yogurt is another popular item, Rutten says. She has gone through several cases and had run out a week after the sale started.

"We had a group of wrestlers from Fergus Falls stop in that were supposed to be in Barnesville," Rutten said. "They were excited and said they should do it at their school. And they bought me out of all my yogurt."

Rutten and other school officials decided to start the program after noticing kids were tired and had lost energy after school.

Rutten also sees high school and elementary students stopping in to grab a snack after school.

"It's nice for them to be able to get a quick, inexpensive snack," she said. "Going to Subway can get expensive."

Rutten will continue selling the food after school on Monday through Fridays.