Learn about healthier nutrition choices at free community event Thursday

What can a black bear, a green monster and a round of beat-the-clock teach you about how to eat healthy? Find out at Healthier Choices – a free family event at Cedar Valley Community School in Lynnwood this Thursday, Jan. 26 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Co-sponsored by Swedish/Edmonds and the Edmonds School District with support from the Verdant Health Commission and Top Food and Drug, Healthier Choices will feature cooking demonstrations and nutrition advice from internationally known culinary and television personality Graham Kerr and Swedish/Edmonds registered dietitian, Megan Ellison. Kerr, best known as The Galloping Gourmet, lives in Island County and is committed to helping people make healthy, creative, lifestyle changes to increase consumption of fresh, local edible plants and seafood.

Healthier Choices is an opportunity for families to learn fun ways to make healthy food choices and prepare easy, affordable breakfasts and snacks. Cooking demonstrations will include after-school snacks that can be prepared in less than five minutes; how to prepare a green-monster smoothie that will make any child want to eat their spinach; and nutrition information from a Pacific Northwest bear (who bears a striking resemblance to Kerr) about the importance of eating whole grains.

“We all know childhood obesity is a concern across the U.S. and here in Snohomish County,” Ellison said. “We want to reach out to local families to provide them with healthy breakfast and snack options that they can prepare with very little time and money, any day of the week. Our goal is to show families how to sustain an easy, healthy meal plan that includes fun and tasty options that kids will want to eat.”

According to the Snohomish Health District, students who are obese or overweight report lower grades, lower expectations to go far in school, and more disabilities than students who are not obese or overweight.

“This partnership with Swedish/Edmonds and the fun, nutrition information it will provide to families goes hand in hand with other school district programs to reduce childhood obesity in our community including our Move 60! program, which encourages kids to exercise at least one hour a day,” said Jennie Hershey, a health and fitness coordinator for the Edmonds School District.

Recipes, prizes and free food samples will be offered at the Healthier Choices event and Spanish translation will be provided. For more information, visit swedish.org/classes.

Cedar Valley Community School is located at 19200 56th Ave. W., Lynnwood.

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This event will be the first in a series of four Healthier Choices events this year partnering Swedish/Edmonds with the Edmonds School District. Other Healthier Choices events are scheduled for:

Thursday, Feb. 23
Thursday, March 15
Saturday, April 28

Times and locations for these events will be announced in the near future.

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