LIMA ‚?? Though it was gloomy in Lima on Tuesday, the weather didn‚??t stop children of all ages from running and playing.
They did just that at St. Rita‚??s second annual Healthy Kids Fair on Tuesday at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The fair was designed to ‚??get parents and kids pumped about making healthier choices,‚?Ě and featured a gymnastics obstacle course, motivational speakers and booths with Lima resources for children to make healthier choices, all free of cost.
One of the featured speakers, Marshall Reid, shared his experience and struggle with childhood obesity at the fair.
Marshall, 12, authored a healthy children‚??s eating cookbook called ‚??Portion Size Me‚?Ě with the help of his mom, Alexandra, and his 15-year-old sister.
The book is a firsthand account of the Reids‚?? attempt to change their lifestyles and eating habits, all while sharing healthy tips and life-changing recipes.
‚??It‚??s so important to me because I was there one day ‚?? I was obese, I was huge,‚?Ě Marshall said. ‚??And I feel for those kids who still are and didn‚??t stand up. So I‚??m just trying to help them every way I can.‚?Ě
Marshall came to his mother one day and told her he was being bullied at school and that he wanted to make drastic changes to his lifestyle to lose weight.
‚??It was a slap in the face to my parenting when my child came to me and told me he was being bullied,‚?Ě Reid said. ‚??I knew we had to change.‚?Ě
Marshall said his lifestyle before was eating a lot of processed foods and foods out of boxes.
‚??If the veggies came out of a can, then yeah, we ate them,‚?Ě Marshall said, laughing. ‚??But I had a hard time figuring out I wasn‚??t the only person in the world who was obese. There were other people like me out there.‚?Ě
Another featured speaker was Jim ‚??Basketball‚?Ě Jones, who is an anti-bullying speaker. Jones mixes self-esteem lessons in life with basketball demonstration for kids of all ages.
Jones also faced struggles of his own. He was diagnosed with dyslexia and was in a special-education classroom for five years before he could make it into a regular classroom. He reflects on his own difficulties and self-esteem lessons he learned from his personal struggles and how he used them to succeed in his life.
Dr. Tara Tozzi, a nutrition expert, also gave a few presentations, sharing nutrition tips. And lastly, the Lima Police Department K-9 unit came for two presentations for the children.
Some of the booths that were set up included the Lion‚??s Club, Lima Police Department, Rays Pharmacy & Wellness Center, Children‚??s Developmental Center, Allen County Museum, Lima Fire Department, Allen County Sheriff‚??s Office and Partnership for Violence Free Families.
Activities included face painting, a U.S. Army boot camp class, a YMCA gymnastics obstacle course, YMCA soccer clinic, Jazzercise, and a University of Northwestern Ohio basketball skill-building camp.
YMCA vice president of membership, Terri Averesch, said they do the activities to get the children active and to stay involved in the Lima community.
‚??The YMCA is about healthy lifestyles and building the community along with youth development,‚?Ě Averesch said. ‚??So this part of our youth development.‚?Ě
According to statistics released Monday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults are obese and 17 percent of American children.
Data from the nonprofit Trust for America‚??s Health revealed 29.6 percent of all Ohio‚??s adults are obese, ranking 13th worst in the country, tying with Kansas.
St. Rita's Healthy Kids Fair