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Eat Smart, Play Smart Makes Wellness Fun

Posted on Sep 21, 2016

In honor of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital cafeteria was buzzing with activity as employees, patients and families took part in the second annual "Eat Smart, Play Smart" wellness event on September 15.Learning about good nutrition and the importance of physical activity from Holly Ball, R.N., was fun for Gabrielle, 4.

Hosted by the hospital's Nutrition and Wellness Committee, with special guest Raymond from the Tampa Bay Rays, the event gave patients and their families the opportunity to learn about good nutrition and other ways to stay well.

"We strive to educate families on how they can make healthier choices and we want to do it in a fun and creative way," said committee co-chair Carrie Kleinmeier, R.N., a clinical leader on the eighth-floor Pediatric Medicine Unit.

There was no shortage of fun as patients, staff and preschoolers from the neighboring YWCA Child Learning Center took part in a variety of activities from water bottle decorating and colorings sheets to a hula hoops obstacle course and more. Every family that visited the event also received a bag filled with items to encourage active play, a lunch bag and a copy of the kid-friendly Fit4Allkids cookbook.

While kids took part in fun activities, parents and caregivers received information on nutrition and active play. Many commented on the “Rethink Your Drink” display of sugary beverages complete with packets of sugar to show how much is found in many favorite drinks. Samples of citrus-infused water and a healthy French toast recipe were available along with recipe cards to promote mindful eating.

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