Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Kids Learn and Get Healthy at Camp

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Kids Learn and Get Healthy at Camp

Article excerpt

Saying that kids won't eat healthy foods or get active is a cop-out. The Hearts N' Parks program is not only proving this point, but also helping communities become healthier in the process. The McAllister Recreation Center's Day Camp is one example of science and fun mingling to help kids learn about healthy lifestyles. The Lafayette, Ind., camp averaged 40 kids a day during its seven-week run. Each day, counselors helped campers enjoy typical day camp programs, but with an added focus on health. They walk more instead of jumping on the bus for a field trip. Speakers such as doctors and dietitians come to talk to the kids. Campers snack on healthy treats and participe in CATCH (Child and Adolescent Trial on Cardiovascular Health) games.

"At first they weren't open to grapes, apples or vegetables, but through the course of the summer we heard less complaining," says Jon Miner, assistant manager for McAllister Recreation Center. "Some kids started saying grapes were cool."

Indiana has been identified as one of the country's most unhealthy states, with high incidences of obesity and smoking. …

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