Learn to eat and live healthier at the 'Family Room' at Ag Progress Days

July 28, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Children and family members can play mini games, 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 2016 Ag Progress Days, Aug. 16-18.

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.

“The simple goal of living a healthy lifestyle is not so simple in today's increasingly complex society,” said Matt Kaplan, professor of intergenerational programs and aging in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Education, and Sociology at Penn State. “Many people are overwhelmed with the steady stream of new information about ways to eat more nutritiously, become more physically fit, and keep all family members safe.”

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; the Penn State Extension Pesticide Education Program; and the Penn State StrongWomen 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. Penn State food-safety specialists will provide information about how to preserve food at home safely.
  • First Aid and Firearm Safety Tips. Children can meet a police officer and visit with members of Centre LifeLink to learn about helpful first aid tips. Firearm safety material will also be on display in addition to gun locks (while supplies last).
  • "MyPlate" Scavenger Hunt. Children can use the USDA's "MyPlate" model to plan a healthy plate and participate in a scavenger hunt to locate food items from Ag Progress Days vendors that fit the "MyPlate" model.
  • Naturally Flavored Water. Visitors can taste water flavored with natural products and learn the importance of water in their daily diet.
  • Pests and Pesticide Safety. Working through interactive stations, visitors to the Pesticide Education Program exhibit will learn how to identify pests around the home and the differences between pesticides used to control them. They can identify where pesticides might be used and who might be using them. Participants will receive Mr. Yuk stickers and prizes.
  • StrongWomen. Visitors will learn about foods that can help improve bone health and discover weight-bearing and stretching exercises designed to enhance their overall health and well-being.

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. 16; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 17; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 18. 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 28, 2016