Thanks to a NYS Rural Health Grant, the Wellness Department at UR Medicine Thompson Health was recently able to realize a three-year vision in bringing “Super Sprowtz” to the region.
Through a brief puppet show starring nationally-branded superhero vegetables such as Erica Eggplant and Brian Broccoli, the program allows wellness educators to reach children even younger than the third- through fifth-graders served by the “Get Up/Fuel Up” program currently offered through partnerships between Thompson and three area school districts.
“The earlier we start to teach our children about healthy eating, the more success they will have with regard to following a healthy diet as they age,” says Thompson Health Community and Associate Wellness Manager Tina Acevedo, adding, “We also know that the way we fuel our body impacts the way we learn.”
In a lighthearted manner geared toward the young audience, the Super Sprowtz puppets address the importance of healthy eating, teaching a character named Fake Food Freddy – and the audience – how fruits and veggies can be not only healthy, but delicious.
After the puppet show, Acevedo says, the Thompson wellness educators treat the audience to a healthy snack of cut-up fresh fruit served in soufflé cups.
Linda Miller, head teacher of the Bloomfield Nursery School, says her students found Super Sprowtz to be “enjoyable and engaging.”
“The puppets encouraged the children to exercise and to make healthy eating choices by choosing to eat fruits and veggies in a child-friendly skit,” she says. “Truly a wonderful program for children!”
This article was originally published in Community Health magazine for UR Medicine, Thompson Health Partners in health and wellness.