On May 19th the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA was a special guest at the annual parent and faculty meeting at Saint John the Apostle School in Clark. We had the opportunity to share information about the exciting new collaboration between Saint John’s and the YMCA, and our shared goals of increasing physical activity and improving the overall health and wellness of the students. We met with much enthusiasm and support from the parents and faculty as we communicated the importance of nutrition and physical activity play in the lives of their children and our efforts to sustain that.
Following the meeting, we kicked off with interactive nutrition, physical activity & healthy snack making sessions with approximately 70 preschool and kindergarten students. Registered dietician, Donna Peart, taught the students about different kinds of snacks and sugars, what was healthy and what was not, and how certain foods can fuel the body so it has energy for the day. Students participated in a stretching & movement activity, and with the help of the teachers and volunteer classroom parents, drew pictures of healthy snacks and made their own snacks!The students gathered around a table to pick their favorite fruits, loaded them on a wooden stick and took some special dipping sauce made of yogurt, a bit of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some fresh squeezed lemon. The simple task of putting the fruit on a stick and having a healthy dip made it fun for the children to eat a healthy snack. New words emerged from the class like “fruitalicious” and “fruitacular” as the students and teachers laughed, enjoyed their snacks, and talked about how they would want to have healthy snacks like this at their Memorial Day picnics. Each of the students was provided with a healthy eating newsletter to take home and share tips on healthy eating and activity with their families.