By Adam Madison

Triplicate staff writer

More than 400 third through fifth grade students attended this year's Nutrition Adventures Day on Thursday at the Del Norte High School football field.

Students from Mountain, Smith River, Pine Grove, Bess Maxwell and Joe Hamilton Elementary Schools participated in the activities.

This year marked the largest turnout for the event, with andquot;over a hundred more students than we've had in the previous years,andquot; said Deborah Kravitz, nutrition program assistant for Del Norte Unified School District.

The half-day event focused on the importance of nutrition, the value of exercise and the importance of eating fruits and vegetables using games, taste testing and other hands-on activities.

This years' theme was andquot;Passport to Nutrition.andquot; All students received a passport with places to check off at each of the six nutrition-related activities. The activities included a fruit-sundae activity, the fruit and veggie ring-toss, Orange-a-Peel, a potato-sack trivia race, the strawberry relay and the Pyramid Relay.

The Pyramid Relay stood out because students raced to place plastic representations of the food groups in their proper place on the food pyramid.

At the end, each student was given a jump rope, placed in the care of their instructors, and a bottle of water with the words andquot;Network for a Healthy Californiaandquot; printed on it.

Teachers and instructional assistants from each school helped with the activities. Joshua Well, a instructional assistant at Joe Hamilton Elementary, said he decided to volunteer because he andquot;already worked with kids, and knew the director (Kravitz.andquot;)

About 40 nutrition science and physical education students from Del Norte High helped with the event, Kravitz said.

The event was put on by the Del Norte Unified School District andquot;Network for a Healthy California.andquot; The event happens every other year, and won't return again until 2009.