Healthy food samples, exhibits, demos, yoga, soccer, ballroom dancing, martial arts, cycling, zumba — the Junior League of Greenwich's inaugural "Fit & Fun Fest" covered every base.
New this year, the Fit & Fun event, co-chaired by Katherine Staffieri and Amy Buckley, built on longstanding Kids in the Kitchen project, which sent JLG members out to local after school programs to talk about healthy food choices.
JLG president Emily Sternberg explained that the Fit & Fun goal was to target children with an eye to obesity-prevention and, ultimately, reduce health risks in adulthood.
Sternberg said the theme also tied in with JLG's popular Positively Me! program. "After all, weight effects self-esteem," said Sternberg.
The event, held at the YWCA of Greenwich, filled multiple rooms, including the gymnasium. At a booth set up by Neighbor to Neighbor, executive director Nancy Coughlin described her organization's Healthy Choice Food Pantry and details of the summer supplement for school age kids. Families are often referred to Neighbor to Neighbor by Greenwich Social Services whose adjacent booth at the "Fest" featured information about the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
ShopRite of Commerce Park's in-house dietitian-nutritionist Jamie Lee McIntyre offered advice and shared easy reduced-sodium, reduced-saturated fat and reduced-cholesterol recipes. With assistance from GHS sophomore Anna Svedin, McIntyre presided over a display titled "Sugar Shockers" and "Fatty Finds."
The display featured sugar cubes representing quantities delivered by typical snacks and beverages. The striking visual also featured baggies with fat equivalents in popular fast foods including french fries (21 grams), chicken nuggets (19 grams), potato chips (10 grams) and a double cheeseburger (27 grams).
The downstairs gymnasium showcased indoor fitness activities. Joseph DeVita whose martial arts studio DeVita Karate has been in operation since 1981, listed benefits of martial arts training including self discipline, self confidence, self defense and "prolonging your life beyond the normal span."
Greenwich Greenwich Track Club director Bill Bogardus said it's not too late to join GTC's after school Snowflake Fitness program at the YMCA, and that spring session starts in mid-March.
Greenwich Safe Cycling's Kim Orlando who is hoping for another big turnout for the 11th annual Mother's Day Ride, which will include both a 7 mile and 1.5 mile ride options, and safety-oriented booths.
Among the crowd were Eastern Middle Scool 8th graders Alexandra Buss, Hannah Buehler, Olivia Dallape and Haley Oliva. The foursome, who stopped to sample Rhonda Morley's soba noodle casserole (recipe attached), made the event a destination to get inspiration for their Girl Scout silver award project. The girls are organizing a teen and children's health fair on March 23, 2013 at Old Greenwich Riverside Civic Center (aka the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center).
The Junior League of Greenwich is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. JLG's purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.