Trick or Treat with JumpStart to Wellness
BY KATE JOHNSON
Coal Country Community Health Center will host a Healthy Halloween Bash from 4 - 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Beulah Civic Center. The event is free for all ages and will be full of healthy and fun activities.
After receiving a rural health grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Sakakawea Medical Center, Coal Country Community Health Center, Knife River Care Center, Custer Health District, and Mercer County Ambulance decided to collaboratively work together to endorse wellness and activity for all ages within the community. This began in August with Coal Country’s JumpStart to Wellness centered around a day of fun for young children partnered with a free wellchild check. The health organization members in the Mercer County area want to focus this grant on – creating wellness within the community -- changing unhealthy behaviors by offering programs and activities to encourage physical activity and making healthy choices.
“The Healthy Halloween Bash is our innovative approach,” explained CCCHC Director of Patient Care and Innovation Chastity Dolbec.
During the Halloween Bash, all children will be able to play games, win prizes, create their own Halloween snacks, and participate in fun activities, as well as collecting surprise treats at each booth along the way. There will be 11 organizations present, and 15 booths will be set up in conjunction with this event, which will around health education – discussing the importance behind having an input of beneficial nutrition and an output of physical activity.
Although for many years Halloween has been about collecting candy from neighboring homes, Coal Country hopes to build health knowledge within the community, and also hopes people will make healthy choices even during this candyfilled occasion, choosing more healthy options compared to the regular chocolates and sweets that would normally be collected. Examples of a few “healthier” choices that will be given away are pretzels, baked cheese crackers, fresh fruit, vegetables and dip, popcorn, and flavored water.