Performance Date: Wednesday, February 18
Time: 9:30 a.m.
School/Venue: Scotland Elementary School
Having trouble getting your kids to eat their fruits and veggies, get off the couch, and turn off the computer games? Thanks to a groundbreaking partnership with Chartwells K12 School Dining Services, 35,200 children and family members at 22 schools throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts will experience FOODPLAY - a national award-winning theater show featuring awesome feats of juggling, music, magic, and audience participation to turn kids on to healthy eating and active living.
While there are countless efforts to combat the alarming rise of childhood obesity, none is as lively and child-friendly as FOODPLAY. Woven into the national touring performance are serious lessons that teach kids about the importance of healthy eating and active living, inspiring them to adopt nutritious diets and active lifestyles.
FOODPLAY makes good eating great fun, but its messages are serious. In the last 25 years, childhood obesity rates have doubled among elementary school children and tripled among teenagers. One in three children is overweight, and less than two percent of the nation’s youth are meeting their daily nutritional requirements. Kids are consuming more than 150 pounds of sugar a year, missing out on recommended levels of fruits, vegetables and whole grains needed for optimal health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one-third of the nation’s youth will develop diabetes if current eating and exercise habits don’t improve.
Schools around the country are working to meet the challenge – by creating school-wide wellness policies, updating school lunch and breakfast menus to offer more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and incorporating more physical activity opportunities throughout the school day.
During FOODPLAY’s fun-filled performance, children watch as Janey Junkfood desperately tries to make the National Junior Juggling Team. The problem – her poor eating habits. As FOODPLAY unfolds, children are empowered with the consumer skills needed to make sense of a confusing food marketplace. They learn how to see through TV commercials, decipher food labels, and “read it before you eat it!” Teachers come away with new insights too, as many adults don’t realize that ingredients are listed on food labels in order by weight, with the main ingredient listed first. Kids are alarmed to see how much sugar is found in many of their favorite foods from 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of soda, to sugar being a main ingredient in a popular sports drink.
With upbeat song and dance routines, kids discover the amazing benefits of fruits and vegetables. Kids learn how to balance their diets, literally, using MyPlate featuring the five food groups – grains, proteins, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Janey discovers there are far better choices than her “MacGreasyKings” lunch as Coach transforms her dull lifeless meal into a fresh colorful plate bursting with flavor and nutrients. Kids learn how to fill half their plate with fruits and veggies and cheer Janey on as she successfully juggles five fruits and veggies – the recommended number of daily servings. And, students learn “they can get MyPlate right here at their school, their cafeteria will serve it every day for lunch, how cool!”
As part of show, schools receive FOODPLAY’s comprehensive resource kits with follow-up materials to extend the nutrition education activities throughout the year. Along with activity guidebooks, online curricula, DVDs, and children’s books, students take home colorful snack cards with healthy eating tips to post on their fridge.
Photograph from FoodPlay Productions website.