Healthy eating, fun mix at Children's Museum of Walla Walla

Visitors can have a free look Friday at a traveling exhibit from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.


WALLA WALLA -- An exhibit that serves up a balanced meal of learning and fun has landed at a local museum.

On Oct. 30, the Children's Museum of Walla Walla became the first museum to receive the traveling exhibit, "Every Body Eats," produced by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. In celebration of the installation, the Children's Museum is hosting a free admission day Friday.

"Every Body Eats" promotes well-balanced nutrition and knowledgeable food selection. The exhibit's five interactive stations help to bring healthy eating to life for young visitors.

At one station, "Sizing Up Servings," kids match food items to their healthy portion size. Serving suggestions are illustrated through everyday objects; for example, kids learn that their apple should be the size of a tennis ball, and their portion of meat should be the size of a deck of cards.

In "Dinner Theater," parents and children sit around a kitchen table and -- with the help of friendly puppets -- discuss the importance of fruits, vegetables and balanced meals.

"Calories In, Calories Out" teaches children what a calorie is and how to balance consumption with physical activity. The station emphasizes the importance of getting energy from healthy foods, rather than junk food.

The "Eat a Rainbow" table illustrates the importance of eating foods of all colors, and at the "Supermarket Nutrition" station, kids practice going shopping for a balanced meal in a supermarket. They scan different food items and are advised on which additional items would complete a well-rounded meal.

Museum staff are excited to be the first to display "Every Body Eats."

"It's a really neat and interactive exhibit," said Amy Woiblet, executive director of the museum. "And we're excited to be the first to have it."

Traveling exhibits usually come at a cost to the museum, but OMSI's "Every Body Eats" is funded by an educational grant from the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health.

The Children's Museum is open Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.. Admission is $4 per person over age 1, but this Friday, no admission will be charged.


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