WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – What kids eat impacts how they learn.

Evidence links healthy eating and physical activity with academic achievement, according to a report by the CDC.

KSN teamed up with the Greater Wichita YMCA to make an easy, nutritious and filling meal for your child’s lunchbox or to eat after school.

“A lot of times when we pack too much food, they tend to get really tired. They need that energy to keep them going for the rest of the day,” Newman said.

Newman teaches the Junior Chef Academy course for the Greater Wichita YMCA, where kids learn basic culinary skills and practice making recipes.

Below is the recipe for fruity chicken salad pitas, featuring different fruits and vegetables.

“Kids love colors. When they see something colorful, it’s more attractive to them,” Newman said.

Fruity Chicken Salad Pitas


Ginnie Newman with the Greater Wichita YMCA walks through how to make healthy chicken pita pockets for your child’s lunchbox.
  • 1 cup cubed chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  •  1/4 cup mayonnaise
  •  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •  1/4 teaspoon onion powder (Optional)
  • 4 pita pocket halves


  • Combine the first 9 ingredients. Fill pita halves with chicken mixture.

Other recipes with the Greater Wichita YMCA: