Well over 300 people attended the First Baptist Christian School’s Healthy Kids Expo last Thursday.
The primary goal of the evening event, held in the school gym, was to educate adults and children about the wide range of healthy eating and lifestyle options.
Organised by the school with financial assistance from Generali Worldwide’s Be Active, Eat Smart campaign, the event focused on offering a holistic approach to ensuring family nutrition, exercise and spiritual well-being.
School principal, Dr. Linda Cross, said the correlation between nutrition, physical fitness and learning was well documented.
‘Healthy lifestyle patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and wellbeing,’ she said.
Dr. Cross added: ‘Healthy diet and physical activity are linked to reducing many chronic diseases as adults. First Baptist Christian School is committed to help students, parents and staff establish and maintain good health. Therefore, the Healthy Kids Expo is one avenue to show our support of wellness for families in the Cayman Islands.’
The school’s pastor Thabiti Anyabwile said: ‘The expo was all about providing some timely tips and ideas for taking care of ourselves. As a church we care about people not only spiritually, but physically as well.’
‘We’ve received very encouraging feedback from parents and children about the expo,’ said Coach Claire Hughes, the school’s physical education teacher and the event’s co-ordinator.
‘As the PE teacher at FBCS, my role is more than just the teaching of PE, it’s about the whole wellness of the child. Young children’s eating habits are formed by the parents.
‘If we’ve helped to get families thinking about making even the smallest improvements to their eating habits and lifestyles to increase better health, then the expo has done its job,’ she said.
As well as information kiosks from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, Motions Unlimited Gymnastics, the Cayman Islands Squash and Revolutions Indoor Cycling, the event had several interactive areas.
Children played T-ball, jump rope, table tennis and shot basketball hoops, enjoyed the gigantic bouncy castle and watched a karate demonstration by Cayman Karate Club.
Several sports clubs manned booths at the Healthy Kids Expo. Gymnastics coach Kelly Paz of Motions Unlimited handed out the club’s new schedule, and with Coach Heather Waisanen, walked children through the basic gymnastic skills on a circuit.
‘Gymnastics with its promotion of balance, flexibility and co-ordination is a good basis to take into other sports,’ Coach Paz said.
Youth Development Coach for the squash club, Dean Watson, said: ‘I am here to publicise the sport and to increase the popularity of it. Apart from the fact that it is a good all-round sport, our excellent indoor facilities provide consistent conditions. Squash is a very social game for all age groups.’
Each of the school’s year groups had a booth at the event including the climbing wall and Cay Kids triathlon, Wii Fit and badminton. The Yukky booth showed just how many sugar cubes are in sodas, the damage done to smokers’ internal organs and the amount of ingredients in processed lunch foods.
Fitness tests and overall health screening was undertaken for free by Laura Ribbins and nutritionist Andrea Hill representing the Be Active, Eat Smart programme. Pasta and fresh fruit were available, also free of charge.