Fifth grade students from three Baltimore City schools will head to the University of Maryland’s Westminster Hall 11:30 a.m., Oct. 22, to see FOODPLAY, the national award-winning show promoting healthy eating and exercise habits. The University of Maryland, Baltimore and Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. (HFI – the non-profit partner of the Hippodrome Theatre) partnered to sponsor this production for the students from Calvin Rodwell Elementary School, James McHenry Elementary School, and Southwest Baltimore Charter School.
While FOODPLAY makes good eating great fun, its messages are very serious. So serious, in fact, that First Lady, Michelle Obama, has launched the nation’s first childhood obesity task force, designed to tackle the alarming rise in the number of overweight children. In the last 25 years, childhood obesity rates have doubled among elementary school children and tripled among teenagers. One in three children is overweight, and less than two percent of the nation’s youth are meeting their daily nutritional requirements. Kids on average are drinking over 600 cans of soda and consuming more than 150 pounds of sugars a year, missing out on recommended levels of fruits, vegetables and whole grains needed for optimal health.
During the fun-filled performance, children follow the antics of Johnny Junkfood, whose dream is to become a national juggling star, but keeps dropping the balls. The problem – his poor eating habits! With the help of the “Coach” of the National Junior Juggling Team and the audience of enthusiastic elementary school children, Johnny learns how to juggle the foods he eats to wind up with a balanced diet. Children learn how to see through TV commercials, decipher food labels, and make choices that are good for their health and good for the health of the planet.
As the children walk away to the beat of “Treat Your Body Right!”
FOODPLAY’s message comes in loud and clear – feed healthy foods to your body, positive messages to your mind, and have fun being active every day! Olive Waxter, director of the Hippodrome Foundation says, “HFI is always looking for opportunities to enrich students’ education through theater. FOODPLAY is the perfect show for HFI to partner with the University of Maryland to present to the students. It is a great show with an important message.”
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