"Blender Bike" teaches kids learn the importance of nutrition and fitness in Taney County

Taneyville, Mo. -- A summer school program in Taney County is helping kids learn the importance of nutrition and fitness, in a fun way.

Taneyville students used a "blender bike" to make things like hummus and smoothies. As they peddled, the blender mixed the food.

I love that you don't have any electricity powered into that," 11-year-old Judah Reynolds said.

The "blender bike" is a new teaching tool, provided through a partnership with the University of Missouri Extension Office.

"The kids are just fascinated by the bike," Dr. Willa Williams, with the Extension's 4H program, said. "A lot of kids, these days, probably don't ride a bike. So, we've really given them a sense of accomplishment when they've gotten on the bike and gotten off of it. They thought 'Hey, we can ride a bike.'"

However, the blender bike is not only fun for the kids today, but it also helps teach them healthy habits for tomorrow.

They make culinary creations that haven't tasted before.

"One boy actually just said my mom and I were just talking about trying hummus," Barb Beck, with the Extension's nutrition program, said.

The kids even do their own gardening at the school.

"It's a chance for them to see that they can grow their own food and provide for their family. It eventually impacts the poverty mindset," Principal Danita Frazier said.

It allows the kids to learn life-long healthy habits.

"If you don't learn what's healthy or not in the beginning when you're a kid, you might forget what stuff is healthy and what stuff is junk food," Student Ashton Carter said.

They are habits that can not only impact the kids, but also families.

"I hear the kids come back and say, 'We are eating more veggies at our house," Beck said.

The kids also get to take home recipes to help them make healthy meals at home.

Also, this isn't only a summer school lesson. The school is planning to build a greenhouse to help provide fresh food year-around.