Ag Progress Days Family Room building specializes in health, safety

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Families can play minigames, watch food demonstrations, taste healthy food and drink, participate in a scavenger hunt, and learn first-aid and firearm safety tips in the Family Room building at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 15-17.

According to specialists in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the focus of Family Room programming is to present ways that families and people of all ages can learn to eat and live healthier.

“Our focus is on helping people navigate the considerable amount of information that is out there about health and nutrition,” said Matt Kaplan, professor of intergenerational programs and aging in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education. "It can be confusing to know what is and is not a reliable source of information about these topics."

The various exhibits are sponsored by the Penn State Extension Nutrition, Diet and Health Team and Nutrition Links program; Penn State Extension Food Safety Team; Penn State's Food Science Department; Penn State University Police Community Education Program; and the Penn State Extension Pesticide Education Program.

Displays and activities will include the following:

-- Dining with Diabetes. This exhibit will focus on sweet foods and diabetes prevention. Visitors will learn how eating too many sweets can lead to weight gain and tooth decay, how to make the right choices and compare sweeteners, and some healthy cooking tips.

-- Healthy Lifestyles Food Demonstrations. Food enthusiasts can observe quick and healthful recipes being prepared hourly, gather serving ideas, taste the resulting fare, and receive a copy of the featured recipe.

-- Home Food Preservation and Consumer Safety. Penn State food-safety specialists will provide information about how to preserve food safely at home.

-- First Aid and Firearm Safety. Children can meet a police officer and visit with members of Centre LifeLink to learn about helpful first-aid tips. Firearm-safety material also will be on display, and visitors can receive a gun lock (while supplies last).

-- Mediterranean Cuisine. Visitors will learn about culinary practices related to the Mediterranean way of eating and living, while discovering regionally produced local foods.

-- Naturally Flavored Water. Visitors can taste water flavored with fruit and learn the importance of water in their daily diet.

-- Protect Yourself from Bloodsuckers! Visitors to the Pesticide Education Program exhibit will learn more about protection from mosquitoes and ticks. Are you dressed properly for the outdoors? Should you apply an insect repellant — if so, what kind, how much and how often? Answers to questions such as these will be discussed through interactive stations.

-- Viva Las Veggies! Don't Gamble with Your Health — Eat Right! This interactive display will encourage individuals and families to eat more vegetables and increase the varieties they choose for better health.

Sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 15; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 16; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 17. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and Facebook users can find the event here.

Last Updated July 18, 2017