Learning healthy living


Dressed up as the Tooth Fairy, Mikaila Skrbina attracted several kids to the Adventure Dental, Vision and Orthodontics booth at the Health and Produce Fair July 19.

As Skrbina interacted with the kids — giving them a teeth-cleaning demonstration and handing out toothpaste and toothbrushes — her coworker, Vicky Garza, gave the adults an overview of the business.

“Not only do you get the parents in here learning, but the kids, too,” Garza said about the fair.

Since 2008, the Tri-County Health Department, Food Bank of The Rockies and host sites (Thornton, Denver, Jefferson County and Aurora) have conducted Health and Produce Fairs throughout the summer.

Thornton hosted the fair at the Church of God Seventh Day, 9375 Gaylord St. in Thornton, in July and will do so again from 9-11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16. The goal is to inspire residents to make healthy decisions by educating them about their health, presenting free cooking demonstrations and handing out free produce.

“Healthy lifestyles create healthy communities,” said Jaylin Stotler, Thornton’s community services coordinator. “Through implementing fun and interactive programming at our fairs, we are able to share not just health-related information, but also a memorable experience that encourages our attendees to continue healthy habits when they leave our fair.”

Stotler said fair organizers hope that by planting a vegetable as a seedling, attendees will be inspired to participate in a community garden or to plant their own small garden box.

They hope that those who take a helmet home with them remember to practice bike safety, and those who take home produce and recipes cards will cook healthy meals with their families.

“With education and the proper tools, we can empower our community to make sustainable life changes,” she said.

Fair attendees are asked to bring their own bag so they can fill it up with free produce. There are no income or residential requirements to participate.

Some of the booths at the fair include North Suburban Medical Center, which will have safety games for kids and health screenings and advice for adults; Thornton Recreation, which will have a fitness test; Tri-County Health Department, which will provide info on programs and services, and hand out fruit flavored water; Thornton Fire Department, which will fit people for helmets and give them away; Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which will have a Planet Fitness station; and Community Enterprise, which will hand out samples of smoothies.

Stotler said that each event draws an average of 400 people.


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