Exercise, rest and diet.

Some old time physical education teachers – once known as known as phys ed or PE teachers – used to harp on those three things as keys to a healthy life.

Kids laughed, but guess what – the older some of those kids got, the smarter the ole’ gym teacher became.

In other words, youngsters grew to see the benefits of the Big Three.

Some area 4-6th grade youngsters had the chance to learn about two parts of that saying recently. They’ll probably figure out the “rest” part without much help.

They learned to have fun with food – in more ways than just eating it.

They learned what healthy foods are, how to choose them, and tips on how to prepare them.

The Fun with Food program, offered through the Mississippi State Extension Service, offered useful information on healthy eating, packaged in a fun and inventive way.

The program is designed to teach youngsters the benefits or not only eating healthy, but making healthy food choices, and to try different types of food.

It also offered information about exercise.

Food pays a huge role in people’s overall health – young and old alike. Eating healthy is vitally important for children and their still-developing bodies.

Learning what to eat, what not to eat, can help a youngster have a springboard to a better life. Healthy food intake, coupled with intelligent exercise and adequate rest, helps lead to healthy bodies, which can more easily avoid or limit serious problems such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, to name just a few.

A healthy body often helps shake off still other problems before they can gain a beachhead on a body.

And make no mistake about it – bodies and minds are interconnected in ways we still don’t fully understand.

In short, good physical health can also help lead to good mental health. And good physical and mental health are two keys to a happy, useful, productive life.

The Fun with Food program wasn’t just about giving youngsters the right information, getting into young ears and minds, as important as that is.

It was also hands-on. Students learned to carve vegetables properly and safely in the kitchen.

The produce used in the classes was donated by Brooks Farms.

This is the sort of real-world, useful life skills schools need to offer. Exercise, rest, diet, how to balance a checkbook, manage credit, fix a flat tire – those things contribute to a better life for students just as much as academic topics.

We’re glad local educators saw the benefit of the classes, and local youngsters had the benefit of attending them.

This was a win-win situation for all concerned.

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