The Duncan Banner

February 18, 2013

Making 'healthy' fun for children

Megan Bristow
The Duncan Banner


For the second year in a row, the Simmons Center hosted   a Kid’s Health Fair Saturday and families from across the county participated. The goal was to emphasize awareness on the needs for healthy kids. 
Lori Mirth, Simmons Center Recreation Director, said it was important to host a fair for children’s health because so often at the Simmons Center, such events are focused on adults.
“We want youth to be active as well as their families,” she said. 
Mirth said the response from the community has been great for the two years they have hosted it. 
Stephens County Health Department’s booth at the fair focused on nutrition and portion control. Kasey Brown, RN, was available to educate children about their need for healthy food choices. 
Children’s interest was piqued with an example of what a healthy plate looks like as well as what a five-pound glob of fat would look like outside the body. 
“We give out placemats so they can draw out what their own healthy plates look like so they can make healthy choices,” Brown said. Brochures on the services were offered by the health department and small kids’ cookbooks.
“It has easy things they can make in it and information on healthy ingredients,” Brown said.
Walgreens Pharmacy’s station had a variety of objects to hand out to the kids such as first aid kits, vitamin suckers and hand sanitizers. They were also doing fingerprinting to give parents a record of their child’s print for identity purposes. First Bank & Trust’s booth promoted their Firstar Savings Program. First Bank & Trust Employee Kristen Arrington said they routinely visit schools talking to kids about the value of savings and giving them the opportunity to make deposits.
“We like to teach kids about saving for financial health,”  Arrington said.
Exhibitions by local children were also part of the program which lasted two hours Saturday morning. Zumba lessons got the children active and then it was followed by a routine by Extreme Thunder. Ensley Kohout took the stage and entertained the crowds with vocal talent. Team Chip Tae Kwon Do also performed a routine followed by another routine by Extreme Thunder. Sk8 Xpress ran demonstrations throughout the morning.
Various drawings were a part of the event including an annual membership to the Simmons Center.
Local businesses that participated in the fair included Sanford Children’s Clinic, Duncan Regional Hospital Health and Nutrition, Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Dr. Brendhan M. Fritts O.DP.C. Optometrist, Youth and Children’s Services, Stephens County Health Department, Dr. Stephanie Else, Dr. Coty Shores DDS, Dr. Mike Nelson and Dr. Rodney Nelson, OSU Extension 4H, First Bank & Trust, Duncan Police Department and Duncan Fire Department, Dr. Ralph Lepien Chiropractor and Dr. Kim Hennan with Duncan Women’s Center.