KALAHEO– Kalaheo School’s 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair was a healthy success with free vegan food samples and free tote bags giveaways.

On Friday night, different health vendors were sharing their health and wellness knowledge at Kalaheo Elementary School’s gym, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

According to volunteer Sharon de la Pena, the school formed its wellness committee a couple of years ago.

“March is national nutrition month so we wanted to do a health fair in March to bring the community on to the campus to provide healthy foods and activities for the families here,” de la Pena said.

Free food samples were a hit at the event. De la Pena made some vegan dishes herself, and one of the crowd favorites was her zucchini noodle with oil free pesto sauce and her chickpea snacks.

Another hit with the ohanas that night was the vegan power bowls and the Hawaiian haystack with fruit or veggie toppings and topped with vegan cheese made with roasted cashews and turmeric spices.

“This is a great way to eat healthy without eating meat. A lot of folks tonight liked the sautéed precooked brown rice or quinoa and edamame with your choice of toppings,” dietitian Charlotte Sembrano said.

Other vendors there were: Kaua‘i Police Department, Department of Health, eye doctor Ben Chun, Ho’ola Lahui Hawaii, Valerie Saiki, UH Cooperative Extension.

There were music and performances like ballet and hip-hop. Outside the gym, Kauai Skate Ohana and Kauai State Park Foundation were outside giving away helps, pads and teaching the keiki about skate board safety.

“We are out there to teach the kids about skate safety and all of the helmets and pads were donations from Paige Moura, HHSC, Kauai Region, Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital,” skate instructor Rob Filaroski said.

Filaroski came with his friend and skate board instructor Matias Campos.

“I’m here to support the kids to skate more and have better hobbies on their spare time,” Campos said.

With the state introducing new vaping bills this month, Valerie Saiki, a representative of the Coalition for Tabacco-Free Hawaii organization was at the wellnes fair to bring awareness.

“I’m collecting signatures to support banning flavored tobacco products so we can reduce youth use,” Saiki said.

At the entrance, students in the fifth grade sold produce that was donated by families for their upcoming Oahu trip.

Munching on a Hawaiian haystack and getting acquainted with the different vendors was Principal Erik Burknan.

“I’m very grateful to the community and all of the vendors who came here to teach our families about healthy choices. It’s fun to see how engaged our students are and the different ways they can take care of their health,” Burknan said.

Healthy eats in Kalaheo – The Garden Island

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