A group of students at Jim Stone Elementary received a visit from Baptist Health Medical Center guests Thursday.

Leanne Griffin, a physician’s assistant with Baptist Health Family Practice and a registered dietitian, spoke with students about fall fruits and vegetables and healthy eating.

"We brought some pumpkin bread to talk about pumpkins [and] how to include some of those fruits and veggies and just regular [healthy] foods in their regular lives," she said.

Jim Stone has one of two gardens — Woodrow Cummins Elementary has the other — that Baptist has helped sponsor.

Griffin said it’s important to speak with students about what they can do with what is being grown in the gardens.

"I think it’s important to start young with kids and [teach] them healthy lifestyles and how to start it early so habits are formed," she said. "The older we get, habits are hard to break."

Unhealthy food, she said, tends to be more available today, which means those bad habits can be started easier.

"Truthfully, it is hard to get fresh fruits and vegetables so I think that’s a really neat thing that the schools are doing to show them, ‘Hey, you can actually do it at home,’" Griffin said. "I think it just shows them they can do it."

She said a lot of kids aren’t exposed to new fruits and veggies.

"They’re scared of them," Griffin said. "So, when they participate in watching it grow, they’re more likely to taste them and incorporate it."

She said the students were extremely engaged in the talk and had a lot to say.

"They loved to answer the questions," Griffin said.

Food, she said, is a topic everyone can find interesting.

"Everyone eats," Griffin said. "I think it’s easy to get people interested and excited because it’s food."