How do you combine the great outdoors, physical activity and good food? Camp Sun Splash may have found the answer. Camp Sun Splash is a fun, summer camp that was held in Fairgrounds Park in the summe[L1] r. Campers from ages 4-16 enjoyed daily educational sessions covering a large range of topics including nutrition and cooking. All of the sessions were hands-on and child-focused. Activities during the sessions included drawing, writing, singing, outdoor games, exercising, and swimming. Camp Sun Splash also incorporated field trips and special, interactive classes from invited guest speakers.
Let’s Move! STL visited the campers at Camp Sun Splash to promote the importance of regular physical activity and a healthy diet. Let’s Move! STL delivered this message to 60 campers in an unconventional, yet exciting way by using the bike blender. First, the campers watched a quick demo on how to prepare an easy, healthy smoothie. Then the presenters discussed several smoothie options, encouraging the campers to choose their favorite fruits or 100% fruit juice, along with yogurt or milk to make their smoothies. They also encouraged campers to get creative with smoothie ingredients such as spinach, carrots, or cucumbers as a fun way to incorporate more vegetables into their diet.
The novel bike blender is a stationary bike that is equipped with a blender in front of the handlebars. Pedaling makes the bike tire move and also activates the blender. Essentially, the campers were burning their calories before they consumed them. The bike blender activity is a nice complement to the discussion of healthy living through physical activity and proper nutrition. The campers enjoyed riding the bike, and loved that they got to see the ‘fruits of their labor’ pay off in a healthy, fruit smoothie drink. Each camper took a turn until the fruit smoothie was fully blended and everyone got to sample a delicious, refreshing drink. Even the camp counselors and group leaders jumped at the chance to ride the bike blender. While smoothies may not be a new food for some individuals, many of the campers confirmed it was their first time trying a fruit smoothie. By the end of the session, campers were able to identify the main ingredients in a smoothie and mentioned a couple ideas for how they could individualize their own smoothies at home. Each camper received a basic smoothie recipe to take home. In the end, campers and camp leaders learned the benefits to making their own smoothies, and that smoothies can be both healthy and delicious without the added sugars or artificial ingredients in commercially prepared smoothies.
Let’s Move! STL is a program initiated under Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program. If you are interested in having a Let’s Move! STL activity, please call 314/657-1571 or contact us through our website at: www.letsmovestl.org.
Written by: Melissa Ramel MS, MPH, RD, LD
We Would Love FOR YOU TO COME TO OUR UPCOMING EVENTS!