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Children make smoothies during a class at the Barber Physical Fitness Center on July 16, 2013. The class, Kids in the Kitchen, was hosted by Semper Fit and Families Overcoming Under Stress and taught children about stress using food.

Photo by Pfc. Samuel Ellis

Children learn about emotions through fruit

16 Jul 2013 | Pfc. Samuel Ellis Marine Corps Base Quantico

Mallory, 7, stared intently at her plate as she constructed a butterfly out of turkey, orange slices, pickles, tortillas and carrots pieces.

Along-side Mallory, 12 other children participated in Kids in the Kitchen, an event co-hosted by Semper Fit and Families Overcoming Under Stress (or FOCUS) designed to teach children about emotions using healthy foods at the Barber Physical Activities Center aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on July 16, 2013.

“My wife and I are both cooks,” said Sgt. Justin Clairmont, food service specialist, Headquarters and Service Battalion. “I wanted my daughter to be able to do something hands-on and this gave us some one-on-one time.”

The class, geared for five to 12-year-olds, gave parents and children an opportunity to spend time together learning about important issues, while having fun.

“The purpose was to learn emotional regulation skills and healthy eating basics, while making nutritious and delicious summer snacks, said Lauren King, Semper Fit Health Promotion dietitian.

FOCUS employees taught children how to distinguish between different emotions using red, orange, yellow and green items to indicate feelings- red being angry, green being calm. They used objects such as a beach ball, feeling thermometers and multi-colored smoothies made out of fresh fruit.

“How would you feel if you were in the red?” Debra Rezendes, family resiliency trainer asked the children. “What would make you feel yellow?”

King ended the class teaching about healthy food options and giving the children healthy snack foods, which they assembled into a butterfly.

“The event was successful,” said King.  “There was a great turnout and families seemed to enjoy the class.”

If you missed the class, but are interested in the concept, King noted that Semper Fit usually hosts cooking classes for kids bi-annually.

For information about FOCUS, call 703-784-0189, or, for Semper Fit, call 703-784-3780.

Marine Corps Base Quantico