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B'ville: Wellness Fair models healthy living

On May 28, Ray Middle School held its first wellness fair to educate sixth- and seventh-graders in practices that promote a healthy lifestyle for the body and mind.

The fair, made possible with a grant from the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council (ADADC), highlighted nutrition, exercise and stress reduction. Students were able to choose three activities from 22 that Ray offered, inside and outside of the building including healthy food sampling, sidewalk art and yoga.

In the school cafeteria, Melanie Hubert, a registered dietician with OCM BOCES, had bottles of popular soft drinks and juices beverages, filled with the amount of sugar each one contains, on display for students to examine. Hubert surprised students when she showed them a juice beverage that contains as much sugar as two and a half chocolate candy bars. Julie Carpenter, the district's nurse practitioner, set up test tubes filled with the fat content of some favorite fast foods such as chicken fingers, pizza and cheeseburgers. To emphasize that eating healthy can also be tasty, the school offered students nutritious food choices to sample including yogurt, orange juice and milk.

In 2006, the Baldwinsville Central School District formed its Wellness Council and adopted a wellness policy, which emphasizes creating and maintaining a learning environment that models and encourages healthy eating and physical activity habits. Ray Middle School's wellness fair supported the goals of the wellness policy. The entire policy is on the district's website at bville.org under District Information.

Tyler Johnson, a student at Ray Middle School, is surprised to learn from registered dietician Melanie Hubert that a popular juice drink has the same amount of sugar as two and a half chocolate candy bars.

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