Officials with the Second Harvest Community Food Bank not only know the importance of a good breakfast, but also the importance of teaching healthy eating habits early on.

Second Harvest, in connection with Live Well St. Joe, hosted its fourth Super Food Fair on Saturday at Lindbergh Elementary School.

The event featured a variety of activities that stressed the importance of healthy eating habits and routine exercise.

Lindbergh Principal Julie Gaddie said the Super Food Fair introduces kids to healthy, fresh food in order to teach good nutritional habits at an early age. “We believe that healthy habits do start at a very young age,” Ms. Gaddie said. “This is an opportunity for them to come in a very fun way to explore food and exercise, so it will give them a foundation for good decisions in the future.”

The fair was designed with “food insecure” families in mind. Second Harvest Director of Operations Tamara Grubb explained that families that are unable to get fresh food typically rely on highly processed foods to supplement their diet. “When we look at the issue of hunger, there are many different components. What some folks don’t realize is when you look at obesity, especially in children, obesity and hunger are essentially neighbors,” Ms. Grubb said.

Before breakfast was served, children could choose to make smoothies on a bike blender or play a portion size and exercise board game.

The bike blender, as the name implies, is a kid-powered blender bicycle.

After kids chose their favorite fruits, a volunteer would secure a blender on a mount above the handlebars and a kid would hop on the bike. As the pedals moved, the blades of the blender would combine the ingredients into a smoothie with a super food — spinach. “It (the smoothie) tasted good. I wasn’t sure if the spinach would taste good,” said Angel McCarty, a sixth grade student at Lindbergh.

Spinach was a key ingredient during the Super Food Fair.

Not only was it in the smoothies, but also in the breakfast burritos, along with turkey sausage and fresh eggs. Spinach seeds also were sent home with kids to start their own small garden.

“We’re trying to introduce fresh foods that people enjoy eating that way. Then, the next time they are at the grocery store, they’ll hopefully think about incorporating those things in their diet,” Ms. Grubb said.

For more information, visit Second Harvest’s website at http://www.ourcommunityfoodbank.org/superfoodfair.

Katelyn Canon can be reached at katelyn.canon@newspressnow.com.

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