VIA Students Learn About Healthier Eating at Whole Foods Event

Aug. 15, 2014

Student from the Virginia Institute for Autism (VIA) indulged in some sweet treats Friday.

Whole Foods in Charlottesville hosted the students so they could learn about healthy snacks.

Some children with autism are on gluten-free and casein-free diets, and treats like fruit, peanut butter rice cake sandwiches, and a make-your-own trail mix station catered to their need.

Kids said they loved going on the field trip, and tasting the snacks.

"It’s really neat to see Whole Foods setting up snacks for our kids specifically,” said Kristen Twiford with VIA. “Plus they love popcorn and popsicles and rice cakes so it's been really fun and easy for them to do, which is nice."

A vulture was also hanging out at Whole Foods today. It was part of the Wildlife Center of Virginia’s effort to raise awareness about their organization.

Buttercup the vulture was joined by Malcolm the corn snake.

Handlers say vultures are often misunderstood.

"A lot of people think that because vultures eat carrion, they eat dead meat, they think that they are really gross. The truth is that they are actually relatively clean animals,” said Outreach Coordinator Raina Krasner. “Buttercup spends more time preening his feathers, which means cleaning and adjusting, than more of the other birds at the Wildlife Center."

The Wildlife Center of Virginia is an animal hospital that treats more than 2,000 animals each year, ranging from bunnies to black bears.

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