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Norwin School District to host Wellness & Nutrition Expo

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Doreen Harris knows that it sometimes takes a bit of cajoling to get kids to pick healthier foods when they're in the school cafeteria line.

But the Stewartsville Elementary School principal has learned that a dash of psychology and pinch of humor can help children make the right choices at mealtime.

“I have a salad every day at lunch and will tell them in a sort of exaggerated way how great it tastes, and maybe ask them why they didn't try one,” she said. “It's all in fun, but I try to lead by example and it works.”

Harris, who chairs Norwin's Wellness and Nutrition Committee, is hoping to advance the cause of making healthy lifestyle choices to a wider audience by hosting the district's first Wellness and Nutrition Expo on April 5.

The idea for the event began to germinate last year when Harris attended an expo sponsored by the Apollo Ridge School District.

“It was a really great program and felt it would be something worthwhile to try at Norwin,” she said. “I thought it would be great to raise awareness about the importance of leading a healthy life by bringing all the wellness and nutrition resources that are available in the community together under one roof.”

More than three dozen booths will be staffed by health organizations and vendors offering free health and nutrition information, Harris said.

“We've tried to offer something for everyone from young children to senior citizens,” she said. “So we'll have an interactive section for the kids, a section where people can sample healthy foods, health screenings and opportunities to participate in things such as yoga, Pilates and dance classes.”

Representatives from Excela Health Systems, Forbes Hospital and UPMC East also will be on hand to conduct medical screenings and provide information on topics such as sports medicine, physical rehabilitation, trauma center facilities, robotics programs research and diabetes.

People who attend will receive a ticket for Chinese auction baskets, and local businesses will be giving away things such as gym memberships and golf outing packages.

Entertainment will be provided by the Norwin Show Choir, which will perform at noon, followed by the Norwin Brass Quintet and Woodwind Ensemble at 1 p.m.

Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or at tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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