Ypsilanti Heritage Festival


By Erin Hinga

Dietetic interns Erin and Kelly share healthy living tips at the SJMHS tent.

Dietetic interns Erin and Kelly share healthy living tips at the SJMHS tent.

My fellow U of M dietetic intern, Kelly Bissonette, and I had great time tabling at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival with the St. Joes Mercy Health System. The festival is an annual summer event that celebrates the diverse cultural heritage of southeastern Michigan. There are several arts and crafts exhibits, demonstrations and sales, historic architecture tours, live music, antiques, fire engines, steam engines, lots of food, and family entertainment!

Kelly and I had the pleasure of educating many families and children about the Shapedown Weight Management Program through Saint Joseph Mercy Healthy System. It is a program where parents and children work together as a team with a social worker, registered dietitian, and exercise specialist to learn about how healthy eating, an active lifestyle, and effective communication can promote weight loss and family unity.

Several young children and parents approached our table to learn more about our health posters and activities.  We taught the children the importance of making half your plate full of fruits and vegetables, a portion of whole grains, a portion of healthy protein, and a little room for dairy. The children shared with us their favorite healthy foods and were very eager to build their own plate with our magnets and poster board. We handed out health stickers, St. Joe’s Farm recipes, and several handouts that provided suggestions and tips for making healthy meals at home! We had a great time at the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival and can’t wait for the fun next year!

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