Article/photos by Micheal Rios
On Thursday, March 9, the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy (TELA) hosted a mini health fair in collaboration with local physical, mental, and spiritual health experts. It was a great opportunity to engage students, staff, families and the community about healthy eating, physical activity, health services, and other local wellness resources.
Vendors included everyone from representatives from the Tulalip Police and Fire Departments, the schools music therapy and child development booths, to Tulalip’s all new SNAP ED (Eat Smart. Be Active.) program. Overall there were 24 health fair vendors, two health care institute parent trainings, and a photo-booth for a nice family keepsake.
“The Mini Health Fair at the Tulalip Early Learning Academy was a great reminder to encourage both parents and the children to consume the required 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The kids loved their veggie cups and were excited to try an apple fruit salad!,” explains Snap-Ed Coordinator, AnneCherise Jensen (pictured above) of her vendor experience. “Children require good nutrition for proper growth and development. Taking affirmative action towards preventative health care will have a huge positive impact on a child’s health; this is why it is so important to teach kids healthy eating habits at an early age. By maximizing high nutrient foods and minimizing consumption of sugary/processed foods, we can help children develop essential healthy eating habits for a healthy future.”
Targeting the energetic and active audience of 3 to 5-year-old students, the TELA vendors came up with creative setups to make it easier for the easily intrigued minds to approach them. Many of the vendors brought different variations and very colorful handouts, poster boards and prizes. Enticing the kids to come up to the tables for prizes and delicious, organic snacks where they would then learn about making good health choices was a successful strategy.
Some of the kids may have been shy at first and hesitant to walk around the setup of booths, but with eye-catching displays they were able to come out of their shells and learn information they might not have known before.
Sheena Robinson attended the health fair with her kids because it offered them a chance to get out of the house to do hands-on activities.
“I liked the nutrition station because it taught my boys what healthy and unhealthy snacks look like,” Sheena said. “I try to teach them about these things at home, but I think sometimes it clicks more if it’s coming from somebody else and learning first-hand through interactive activities.”