From healthy cooking demonstrations to pedal powered smoothies, the Cranbury community was enlightened with positive lifestyle habits at the first Health and Wellness Fair.
The fair took place on May 18 and replaced the Drug Free Fair, which had been organized in Cranbury for 28 years.
According to officials, the purpose of the Health and Wellness Fair was to inform, inspire and empower the school and community to take actions that lead to healthy eating and physical activity.
“We want the students to experience Health and Wellness. We want them to not just learn about it but be a part of the activities,” explained Joann Charwin, coordinator of the Health and Wellness Fair. “We have fitness demonstrations, an inflatable climbing wall, healthy cooking demonstrations for students, and the children with also have a neat opportunity to participate in Pedal Powered Smoothies. Pedal Powered Smoothies allows children to create smoothies by operating the blenders with pedaling on bicycles. We have three different kinds of smoothies that are all healthy or organic.”
Janet Wheeler, Lori Bornstein, and Kathleen Cenci are part of the Cranbury School PTO , which sponsored the Pedal Powered Smoothies.
“This fair helps promote health in general and is not just about being drug free. I hope families have fun today and hopefully learn something about eating healthy,” Wheeler said.
“I think it is truly important to tell children what to do and show them how to do as opposed to telling them what not to do. I think it makes a big difference,” Bornstein said.
“The Pedal Powered Smoothies is a fun way to show them eating healthy and being healthy on a bike. It gets them excited about eating healthy,” Cenci said.
The fair had 40 participants, five field activities and four fitness demonstrations.
Becky Mathers-Lowery represented the Wellness and Sustainability council at the Cranbury School as one of the participants.
“We have a big aquaponic system in the school, so our table is miniature aquaponic systems in a mason jar. Students are helping to put together their own system to take home, which is a method of growing plants in water with a soil-less media. I think it is important to any community to have a fair like this focused on Health and Wellness,” she said.
Residents and families were also able take part in Boy Scouts West Property Hikes, a Girl Scouts service project for the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, bird watching walks, fitness demonstrations, and an inflatable climbing wall and slide.
“This is our first time to the fair. We did not attend the Drug Free Fairs before. I think this is a wonderful event that gets the community together,” said Kim Schmidt, who brought her family to the fair. “The children are able to be actively involved and the Colorful Fun Run is just awesome. Participating in events like this I believe builds self-esteem and encourages children to eat healthier options like vegetables.”
The Colorful Fun Run that began at noon started off the schedule of events for the day. Children collected colorful ribbons and items at field stations behind the Cranbury School. At 2:30 residents and guests had another surprise to enjoy, a New Jersey State Police Helicopter dropped down onto the field behind the school for the children and families to see.
“I think it is really important to bring my daughter out here to reminder her how important it is to take care of our health and do activities that keep us well,” Zoe Coleman said. “I will be participating in future years. In the past we had always attended the Drug Free Fair. I really like the Health and Wellness Fair and its focus on being fit, active and healthy.”
Omar Mobin-Uddin was another Cranbury resident in attendance at the fair with his family.
“Today is a great opportunity to bring the community together to really raise awareness about health. This really is a good idea for parents, children and elders to sit down and chat about what it means to be healthy,” he said. “The children get excited. They get to touch things and have that sink in, which I hope inspires them for a long time to come.”