This blog post was contributed by Liv Scheinbaum, a student at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. Liv is a candidate for MS in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. She and her classmate, Talia Kasher, are working on a few projects with me this summer and they kindly agreed to help us with the nutritional stand at the wellness fair organized by a group of parents at my daughter’s school. It was our first time running a wellness event and we are very proud of the results of our efforts!
This past weekend PS 89 held a wellness fair for kids and parents. It was a place to get some exercise, bounce in the bouncy castle, have your face painted and learn how to make fun and healthy snacks (i.e. play with food). Grown ups could attend a yoga class, get a free massage or participate in a pediatric nutrition workshop. I manned the Sugar Awareness table. Aimed at sussing out the hidden added sugar in some “healthy” kids snacks, this table certainly made an impression on adults and kids alike.
Judging by the reactions, this table gave the parents a black and white picture of just how fast one day’s serving of sugar can amass. The maximum daily amount for children is 5 tsp, or 20 g. That is easily obtained by one flavored yogurt snack with 2 tsp of sugar (think squeezable yogurt on the go type packaging) and one serving of sugared cheerios with 3 tsp sugar. And that’s it. No more added sugar for the whole day! Vitaminwater, another product on display for its hidden sugar content, also received a lot of comments as people were shocked to learn that one bottle weighs in at 8 tsp of sugar. Almost double the recommended daily intake for children!
To ease the sugar shock, a “healthy snacks” table was strategically positioned one spot over. Not surprising, this table was packed from start to finish as kids had fun making rainbow fruit skewers, hummus and cucumber statues and strawberry people. Yeah, they may have been playing with their food, but they were having fun and eating healthy!
Trying to guess a “mystery vegetable” hiding in a box
Kids could play a game and try to guess a herb at a a stand by Grow NYC.
Tennis clinic was brought to us by US tennis Association
Does your school organize wellness fairs? What activities kids and adults enjoy the most?
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