Promoting healthy nutrition in Utica

In an ongoing effort to promote healthy eating and exercise habits to elementary school students, the Hannaford Supermarket Foodplay Tour made a stop at Utica's Thomas Jefferson Elementary on Wednesday. The show combines music, dancing, and juggling with motivating health messages.

"They hear songs with a positive message, and they stay in their head, and ultimately, it affects their health and nutrition," said Thomas Jefferson Elementary Principal Margaret Beck.

"They'll be given passports at the end of the day. Like a scavenger hunt, as they try the different varieties of fruits and vegetables, they'll get some prizes," said Utica Hannaford store manager Rich Thomas.

Hannaford officials said obesity rates have doubled among school children in the last 20 years. Foodplay is a national award-winning program aimed at helping reduce those rates.

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