From video games to television, children have a lot of messages vying for their attention, many of which aren’t exactly good for them.
But Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well initiative has found a way to make learning healthy habits more exciting with the new Kids Exhibit. The exhibit is an interactive, engaging experience for kids ages 6 to 12 that teaches them about healthy lifestyles.
The traveling exhibit’s first stop was Ephesus Elementary School in Roopville on Nov. 6. Students visited 10 fun and educational stations in the school’s gym, which was bustling with activity. They not only had fun exploring each station, they also learned ways to improve their health that they can take home and share with their families.
Organizers hope to reach as many students in west Georgia as possible. With the 2015 Trust of America’s Health Report ranking Georgia the 17th most obese state when it comes to childhood obesity, the Kids Exhibit provides the perfect opportunity for kids to create healthy habits.
Interactive learning is a more hands-on approach that can inspire kids to make the right choices when it comes to their health, according to Patricia Mitchell, wellness and prevention coordinator at Tanner’s Get Healthy, Live Well initiative.
“A child who is shown the benefits of eating healthier, exercising and saying no to tobacco will be better equipped to continue living a healthy lifestyle as an adult,” Mitchell said.
The Kids Exhibit features 10 stations that students rotate through. Several stations focus on nutrition. For example, students learn how to create a balanced plate of food and what it takes to actually burn a certain amount of calories. There is also a station called “Rethinking Your Drink” that shockingly illustrates how much sugar is in popular beverages, such as juices and sodas.
Other stations focus on fitness fun. Students can try out balance boards, test their flexibility or challenge themselves to sit-ups and push-ups.
Engaging their scientific minds, students get to become part of an experiment at a station called “Using Energy.” They dance, Hula-Hoop and jump rope, then observe their bodies’ reactions — from feeling winded and having a pounding heart to sweating and feeling thirsty.
A highlight of the Kids Exhibit is the anti-tobacco station. It features real pig lungs — one that is healthy and another that was simulated to show what smoking does to a lung.
For more information about the exhibit or to schedule an event at your school, call 770.812.9871 or visit www.GetHealthyLiveWell.org.