What is the food we eat? Are fruits and vegetables important? Can everyday activities burn calories? Families, children and school groups will find the answers to these questions by exploring nutrition and fitness in Eat Well, Play Well. This highly interactive exhibit encourages healthy living by teaching the science of making healthy food choices and helping children and adults discover there are many fun and interesting ways to stay active. Visitors will discover what an appropriate serving size looks like, see firsthand what it takes to burn off calories, test their flexibility and balance, review the latest clinical research and realize that they can reduce their risk of disease with healthy choices that are within their reach! You can also help promote healthy lifestyle choices by participating in the Snap-to-it Challenge.
This exhibit will include the following, fun stations!
Balancing Act: Step right up and test out your balancing skills. Visitors step onto a circular balance board and a timer shows how long they can stay balanced. Visitors can challenge themselves and others balance competitions and try to improve their time. They will learn that good balance is important for people of all ages because it enables them to perform daily activities such as walking, picking up objects, and even standing!
Calories In, Calories Out: In this full-body interactive, visitors compare how long it takes to burn off the calories of various snacks. Visitors pedal a hand cycle and then choose from five different foods. Important information, including how many calories they’ve burned, how long they’ve been pedaling, and how much longer it will take to burn off their chosen snacks, will appear on the computer screen. The visitor learns that it takes a lot of exercise to burn off the calories from junk food compared with healthier choices and that in order to maintain a healthy weight, calories in have to to be balanced with calories out.
Dinner Theater: Children are just beginning to learn about nutrition and how different foods affect their bodies in different ways. The Dinner Theater encourages families to explore food and its effects on the human body through creative, open-ended play. Visitors use colorful hand puppets and artificial foods to perform their own plays about the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Place mats at the dinner table give visual clues about how healthy foods affect the body. For example, carrots contain vitamins that help us see and bananas help our hearts. By putting on a Dinner Theater production, visitors can teach their audience why they need to eat a balanced diet.
Be Flexible: Is stretching that important? The answer is YES! Visitors can take the classic sit and reach test to determine their flexibility level and compare it to a graph of other average scores to see where they rank. Information and examples will be given about how to develop better flexibility and why it is important.
Supermarket Nutrition: Enjoy a new spin on the mini-grocery store! Visitors can scan the groceries they would need to make a healthy, balanced dinner for their family. Once they’ve finished scanning the food items they’ve chosen, visitors can total their purchase. Instead of giving them a price, the computer offers visitors feedback about their food choices and information about how to create a balanced meal. Families learn what heir best food choices will be when they visit a real grocery store.
Animal Motion: At this interactive, children are encouraged to get out on the dance floor and hop like a bunny, walk like an elephant, run like a cheetah, or just dance around to the fun music. A variety of different animal costumes are provided for children to dress up and move like their favorite animal.
Sizing Up Servings: In this challenging game, visitors attempt to guess the correct serving sizes for various foods by matching them to everyday objects. Fro example, a deck of cards equals one meat serving and two dice equals one cheese serving. Comparing serving sizes to everyday objects gives visitors a helpful reference tool to use when paring and eating meals and snacks.
Eat a Rainbow: At this large puzzle, young visitors place cutouts of fruits and vegetables in the corresponding colors of the rainbow. Children learn that it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables from each color group.
Screen Time: Did you know that TV watching burns fewer calories than resting? Visitors are asked to add up the number of hours they spen each day playing video games, watching TV and movies, and using a computer for fun. They turn a wheel that reveals how daily screen time adds up on a yearly basis, along with an interesting factoid or statistic relating to the amount of time spent.
This hands-on exhibit from OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) encourages all-around healthy living for visitors of all ages! It was made possible by Science Education Patnership Award (SEPA) grant from the National center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).