Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Into Health: PS 10 Health Fair

Health Fair on Tuesday, March 16 from 1-6PM

P.S.10 511 7th Avenue (at Prospect Avenue) Brooklyn

School Cafeteria

Free and all are welcome!

I'll be doing a cooking demo at P.S. 10's Annual Health Fair on Tuesday, March 16 from 5-6 pm. I'll be baking multi-grain crackers at the store and doing a demo on humus and almond butter. I'm also bringing cinnamon maple oat cookies that are whole grain and sweetened with maple syrup.

Here is an interview with Stacey Bucovy, one of the founders of Healthy Steps ( who organized the event.

Pete: Please give a brief description of Healthy Steps Committee.

Stacey: The Healthy Steps Committee exists to empower the students, parents and staff of PS10 to make healthy choices related to food but extends to fitness and health issues as well. Co-chair Lora Garcia and I started the committee in 2009.

Pete: This is the second Health Expo at PS 10 that Healthy Steps has

organized, what did you learn from managing the first one and how will this one be different?

Stacey: There were a few things I learned from the first Fair. I tried to do too much on my own and realized how important it is to reach out to people for help. The school community is vast, diverse and super helpful with so much creativity.

Secondly, never underestimate the value of promoting your event. You think you have a built-in audience who will just show up but until you and your event are well known you really have to push it. I also learned how much fun a health fair could be. The children really got involved with the different activities like planting, fitness and food games. This year we have so much more to offer so I think it will really be a blast.

Pete: Tell me about the program for this years Health Expo.

Stacey: The Health Fair program is amazing. Chefs from local restaurants, including you Pete, are doing healthy cooking demonstrations. Expert gardeners from Martha Stewart will do planting projects, and a local book author named William Lach is going to do a reading and a book signing.

Fitness experts will be doing yoga, tai chi, dance and calisthenics demos. Our Health center will have ten-minute massage, acupuncturists, posture evaluations, an NYU nurses station, eastern medicine professionals and even some mental health advice. The Health Fair Salad Bar will be open from 1-4pm along with a food bar with food donated by local restaurants and parents.

Two artists in our committee will have a great Crafts Center where children can paint a still life and enter an art contest sponsored by the National Farmland Trust. Professional bodybuilder and book author Kevin Richardson will give a seminar on weight loss solutions. And believe it or not the list goes on.

Pete: What do you think the school system can do to improve the quality of the food our children eat, that is realistic in the face of todays budget cuts?

Stacey: Great question- For one thing if a piece of legislation called the Child Nutrition Act passes then schools could gain some more control over their purchases of food. They would no longer have to buy from the lowest bidder. Guidelines need to change so that healthy meatless meals could be a part of the menu - right now tofu is not allowed nor are veggie burgers. We need to seek out grants for a salad bar and figure out how to maintain it.

Pete: How can parents at other schools get involved or start a committee similar to Healthy Steps?

Stacey: Great question- There just needs to be interest, anyone can approach their school's PTA and ask to form a committee. Then it's just a matter of oranizing yourself and seeking out information form other groups or from the internet.

Pete: Well good luck with the next few days of preparations and I'll see you at the event.

Stacey: Thanks Pete, I'll see on Tuesday!

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