To celebrate National Nutrition Month, Cornell Dining has put on a series of events to promote healthy eating and lifestyle, one of which is the “Five Days of Five” Challenge. For the past three years, over the month of March, Cornell Dining has motivated students and staff to eat more fruits and vegetables with their “Five Days of Five” Challenge, which asks them to “pledge” to eat five cups of fruits and vegetables for five consecutive days. This year, during the week of February 29 through March 4, students and faculty have been asked to pledge to the challenge by signing apple-shaped name tags, which are then placed on the walls of dining halls. The challenge itself runs from this Monday through Friday, when students and staff are encouraged to eat the variety of nutritious and colorful fruits and vegetables.
Members of the Cornell community are also encouraged to post their “Five Days of Five” photos on social media, such as in the Facebook group “HaveYouHadYourFive” and on Instagram with hashtag #haveyouhadyourfive. In the group’s Facebook group, members exchange recipe ideas, post their food photos everyday and promote the colorful display at the dining halls. The social media promotion has been a popular and convenient way for participants to see how their peers are handling the challenge. Michele Wilbur, dietician at Cornell Dining, provides generous prizes for members who posts actively or photos that may be especially artistic. At the end of the month, on March 24, there will also be a recipe contest held in Willard Straight Hall, in which chefs from different dining halls will present their favorite recipes for students to judge.
Increased fruits and vegetable intake can lead to many health benefits, including reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and helping to stimulate digestion. The “Five Days of Five” challenge not only motivates the Cornell community to eat fruits and vegetables for five days, but also to let the community experience those benefits themselves – feeling fresher and in better health.