La Grange students try out healthy living tips
Mellina Fedoruk eats a snack of carrots and water in an afterschool program designed to promote healthy living at Cossitt Elementary School in La Grange. | Rob Hart~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 15, 2013 6:17AM
LA GRANGE — Cossitt Elementary School students seemed to have a jump on living a healthy lifestyle.
But they picked up a few tips March 7 at an afterschool program.
About 60 first- through fifth-graders in the Before and After School Experience program heard from three experts on how to stay healthy.
“I liked making the first aid kit,” reported second-grader Mellina Fedoruk.
She got a plastic case from the Adventist La Grange Memorial and Hinsdale hospitals and filled it with bandages, wipes and hand sanitizer.
Third-grader Lucas Barnes said he appreciated learning how to adjust his backpack so his back and shoulders wouldn’t hurt.
Karen King, a physical therapist with Adventist Paulson Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook, demonstrated the proper fit and urged students to lighten their backpack load.
King also led a series of warm-up, stretching and cool-down exercises to encourage physical activity and lessen injuries for kids involved in sports.
“I learned the butterfly as a new exercise,” said fourth-grader Maxine Gurney, who described a gentle stretch while sitting cross-legged. “My brother and I both do taekwondo.”
Dinna Huneryager, senior marketing and events specialist with the hospitals, had no shortage of volunteers when she quizzed students on how hand washing prevents the spread of germs.
Many hands shot up to report 20 seconds as the optimal time for washing with soap, and some students even said they knew singing the “ABC Song” was a good way to time being under the faucet.
Representing Trader Joe’s food store, Sarah Jardine outlined a variety of healthy snack options.
“Think of yourself as a car,” Jardine said. “You wouldn’t want to put junky fuel in your car. It wouldn’t run as well.”
Honey crisp apples, avocados, salsa and hummus were among the favorites kids suggested for snacking.
“I learned there are more than 2,000 fruits,” said third-grader Ryan Turf, adding he has not yet tried the star fruit that Jardine suggested.
The Cossitt program was the first of four sessions scheduled. Programs also are planned at Forest Road and Barnsdale school in LaGrange Park and Congress Park School in Brookfield.
“We’re going to different schools, reiterating our neighborhood focus and talking about healthy snacks,” Jardine said. “We try to make it fun for the kids.”