By NICKI LEFEVER - York Daily Record/Sunday News Peaking out from under an orange detective hat, 8-year-old David Trimmer was ready to crack the case. He trekked around the Weis Markets in Windsor Township on a recent Thursday morning, looking for clues on nutrition labels to solve the case of the missing energy of fictional character N.R. Getic George, who has been falling asleep in class. With the help of Chief Melissa Henry, Weis Markets Mystery Tour coordinator, David and his classmates from Mrs. Deborah Tracy's third-grade class at Leaders Heights Elementary School filled their baskets with healthy foods to get George out of his slump. The Weis Markets registered dietitians designed the educational field trip to teach kids nutrition by canvassing the grocery stores in search of clues, and Tracy was pleased with what she saw. "This was perfect timing," she said. "We are learning nutrition in science." David and his team -- Josiah Ilyes, Andrew Shealer and Simon Demandante -- were led by chaperone Marty Demandante. Their first stop was the cereal aisle. Henry asked them to find one cereal that they would all like to eat that had whole grain as the first ingredient. David ran to the Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. He read the label, realized the first ingredient was corn flour and put it back. He chose flavored Mini-Wheats instead. The group followed Henry to the next clue in the produce section. "I think we are going to get to pick a vegetable," David said. Henry gave the detectives the details she knew, that different colored vegetables provide different kinds of nutrients for a healthy body. She challenged the detectives to choose one fruit or vegetable from each color group -- blue/purple, red, green, white and orange/yellow -- to put in their shopping basket. Simon grabbed cauliflower, David got carrots, Josiah chose a red pepper, Andrew picked a cucumber and Simon ran back to find a purple turnip. Henry led the sleuths to the meat aisle to talk about protein and strong muscles. As they listened intently, the students learned that protein can come from plants and animals - everything from peanut butter to fish. Henry challenged them to pick one plant protein per group. David came running back to the basket with a can of beans, which suited the criteria, but Simon had already slipped something in the basket. "David, we already have peanut butter," Simon said. "Aw," David said. With full baskets, the students energetically followed Henry to the dairy section, where she dispensed the evidence that calcium found in certain dairy products helps build strong teeth and bones, but the food should have 20 percent of the daily allowance of calcium in it to be counted as a serving. The detectives poked around the refrigerated section, picking up Moose Tracks and Bear Foot Brownie ice cream. They found that while it contained calcium, it was only 8 percent. David grabbed the cottage cheese, but saw that it only had 10 percent calcium and put it back. Simon found milk with 30 percent calcium, and David spotted string cheese with 20 percent. Finally, the students went to the beverage aisle, where Henry showed them just how much sugar is in one can of soda - 9 teaspoons. They realized that water was the best choice and put it in their baskets. The group found their way back to their headquarters and unloaded the baskets to see what they had - all the ingredients to build a healthy diet. They used their clues to crack the final code. On the way out, David had a smile on his face. "Case closed Jack," David said to his friend as he left Weis Markets to get back on the school bus. A hamburger waited for him at lunch. "I like the protein," he said. CASE FACTS:
- N.R. Getic George feels weak and tired.
- He used to be a good student, but now he falls asleep in class.
- It's hard for him to get out of bed in the morning, and he skips breakfast.
- He uses his lunch money to buy cookies and snack food.
- He eats chips, drinks soda and plays video games.
- N.R. Getic George needs YOU, the Weis Detectives, to help solve the mystery of why he lost his energy.
THE MISSION: Find out how N.R. Getic George can get his energy back.