Strawberry Smashers

A New Take on the Classic Field Day “UT Elementary School HealthFest”

Paul Carroza Owner of RunTex and Founder of Born To Run Foundation
Kicks off the 2012 HealthFest

HealthFest takes advantage of the time  teachers, administration and event organizers put into the event. These events take considerable time to prepare for and take away from much needed classroom time. To capitalize on the traditional field day we retain the fun, new experiences and physical activity you normally see at most schools. However, we want to make sure that our students are also learning healthy habits in the process.

HealthFest has three components Mental Health, Physical Activity and Food and Nutrition.  Each station is located on different parts of our campus and students travel with their classroom teachers and fellow students. As they arrive to each station they are greeted by a presenter from one of our partner organizations. For twenty minutes at each of these six stations students our guided through mini exploration of the different topics.

Students also had a chance to celebrate their achievement through out the yearm including their involvement in Marathon Kids and Jump Rope for Heart.

UTES HealthFest 2012 Description of Events


 Presenter Brenda Reed – Natural Epicurean

Description – Strawberry/Banana Unsweetened Cocoa Cream Demo.

UTES Students learned about the life cycle of a cocoa bean (a bean, chocolate bar, & a chocolate baked good as identifiers) and the cultivation of strawberry and bananas too.  They  explored the benefits of unsweetened pure cocoa powder vs. added with sugar. Students filled their own strawberries to create their tasty “Strawberry Smashers” sample.

Thanks to HEB for donating all of the fruit for this demo




 Presenter Classroom Teachers – UT Elementary School

Description – Students explored the garden and answered questions to complete a scavenger hunt. Each square, on the Bingo sheet, was a different question or task the students had to complete.  Students needed to use all the knowledge they have gained about the garden and gardening to complete this station. Some of the harder questions were “Who was the most famous person to ever visit the garden?” Answer Bill Yosses White House Pastry Chef and “How old is the UTES Garden?” Answer the Garden was built in 2006.



Mental Health

 Presenter Mrs. Pam Martin – UT Elementary School Social Worker

Description – Students participated in ow ropes activities to promote self-regulation and cooperation. For more information on activities visit Project Adventure



 Presenter Laura VanDenBergh – Alpha Kitten Yoga & Soma Vida

Description – “By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly.”



Physical Activity

Presenter Kid Gladiator

Description – Kid Gladiator is more than just a sports camp, it’s an experience! Activities during the Kid Gladiator include rock climbing, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, tug of war, relay races, obstacle courses and much more. Kid Gladiator Camps culminates on Saturday with Gladiator Games when students get a chance to show off skills developed throughout the week and take part in the obstacle course. Students at UTES had a chance to try a Kids Gladiator Obstacle Course and learn what it means to have the heart of a gladiator.




Presenter Born to Run Foundation & RunTex

Description – RunTex Foundation is dedicated to involvement with children’s’ fitness and overall health. Born To Run, an innovative children‘s fitness program reaches nearly 3500 Central Texas children. Students learned basic warm up, running form and baton passing skills.