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Upcoming City party event to encourage public to eat healthy, balanced diet

The+City+of+Long+Beach+will+host+the+6th+annual+Fruit+and+Veggie+Party+Saturday%2C+Sept.+15%2C+from+10am+to+1pm%2C+at+Martin+Luther+King+Jr.+Park%2C+1950+Lemon+Ave.+The+event+will+feature+food+tastings%2C+active+games%2C+dance+activities+and+more.+Pictured+is+one+of+the+Fruit+and+Veggie+Party+events+in+years+past.+
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Upcoming City party event to encourage public to eat healthy, balanced diet

The City of Long Beach will host the 6th annual Fruit and Veggie Party Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10am to 1pm, at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave. The event will feature food tastings, active games, dance activities and more. Pictured is one of the Fruit and Veggie Party events in years past.

The City of Long Beach will host the 6th annual Fruit and Veggie Party Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10am to 1pm, at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave. The event will feature food tastings, active games, dance activities and more. Pictured is one of the Fruit and Veggie Party events in years past.

Courtesy LB Department of Health and Human Services

The City of Long Beach will host the 6th annual Fruit and Veggie Party Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10am to 1pm, at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave. The event will feature food tastings, active games, dance activities and more. Pictured is one of the Fruit and Veggie Party events in years past.

Courtesy LB Department of Health and Human Services

Courtesy LB Department of Health and Human Services

The City of Long Beach will host the 6th annual Fruit and Veggie Party Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10am to 1pm, at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave. The event will feature food tastings, active games, dance activities and more. Pictured is one of the Fruit and Veggie Party events in years past.

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With commercials blaring on television– advertising the McDonald’s Happy Meal and its latest toy, or cartoon characters splashing into a bowl of milk and raving about sugary cereals– it can be difficult for kids to find the appeal in “boring” fruits and vegetables.

Some foods are better than others– both in taste and health– and officials with the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services are aiming to promote healthy diets and active lifestyles to the community for its 6th annual Fruit and Veggie Party.

The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10am to 1pm at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave. The public will be able to sample homemade recipes and participate in fruit- and vegetable-themed games, activities in the park’s Peace Garden, mini-obstacle courses, dance-fitness sessions, rodeos and more.

Louisa Franco, program coordinator with Healthy Active Long Beach/Walk and Roll Long Beach and the City Department of Health and Human Services, told the Signal Tribune Wednesday that the event takes a couple of months to plan out.

“Some of the key is to figure out how to make fruits and vegetables exciting and fun, which is why we created the party theme,” Franco said. “So, in terms of planning, we’re thinking about, ‘OK. What does a party have? What can we do to make this fun?’ And, we kind of go from there and think about different things you have at a party to promote eating fruits and vegetables.”

In a press release this week, the City of Long Beach cited recent studies in Los Angeles County that show fewer than 30 percent of those from ages 2 to 17 eat the United States Department of Agriculture’s recommended five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day.

Franco said eating a healthy and balanced diet promotes longevity and prevention of chronic diseases.

“Maintaining that healthy and balanced diet has been showed to prevent chronic diseases that include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol,” she said. “So, it’s really just a matter of making sure you’re consuming the right fruits and vegetables, which prevent a lot of other issues down the road.”

Part of introducing a healthy diet begins in the kitchen, Franco said. At the event, party organizers will demonstrate and share recipes with attendees to prepare at home. Some of the food recipes include kale chips and pear salsa. Recipe cards will be available in English and Spanish.

Courtesy LB Department of Health and Human Services
The above graphic is one of many recipes that City of Long Beach organizers will display and share to public on Saturday, Sept. 15, at Martin Luther King Jr. Park for the 6th annual Fruit and Veggie Party event.

In an email Thursday morning, Lara Turnbull, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention division officer with the City Department of Health and Human Services, wrote that attendees will learn about emphasizing the importance of nutrition at home.

“The Fruit and Veggie Party provides an opportunity for the community to come out and learn, in a fun and engaging way, practical tips and ideas for eating healthy and making sure that half of their daily plate is made up of colorful fruits and vegetables,” Turnbull wrote to the Signal Tribune. “We hope the public discovers that eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money– and that fruits and vegetables are yummy!”

The City wrote in its press release that the Fruit and Veggie Party is the final event in Healthy Active Long Beach’s “Power Up Your Summer” campaign, an initiative that encouraged children and families to get at least one hour of active play every day.

More information is available at longbeach.gov.

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Upcoming City party event to encourage public to eat healthy, balanced diet