When you think of food at the Nebraska State Fair, often what comes to mind are corn dogs, popcorn, pork tenderloins and deep fried things on a stick. This year, 4-H leaders are trying to change that perception.
Bob Meduna, head of Nebraska 4-H youth development, says they will promote exercise at the fair today with a smoothie-making competition and what are called blender-bikes.
“We’ll have different recipes for smoothies, nutritious things like strawberry and yogurt or peaches and yogurt,” Meduna says. “We’ll put the ingredients in the blender and then it’s attached to a bicycle.” It’s part of a state fair promotion called Eat-4-Health.
“The youth will actually pedal the bicycle and run the blender,” Meduna says. “They’ll get off and they’ll taste the different recipes and see which they like the best. What we’re featuring is healthy nutrition and exercise, both at the same time.”
While the Nebraska State Fair isn’t typically thought of as a haven for healthy eating, Meduna thinks the audience will be receptive to the idea, as the blender-bikes are set up side-by-side.
“They’ll really get into it, especially when you have a little bit of competition,” Meduna says. “We’ve got a couple different recipes and they get to taste it afterwards. If you’ve never had these smoothies, very tasty, fresh fruit, very healthy.”
He says 4-H members will be on-hand to encourage students in grades K-through-six to participate in simple, fun group dance and fitness activities designed to burn calories and promote health. They’ll also share important information about calories, serving sizes and provide tips for maintaining active lifestyles through better food choices, exercise and other activities.