Master Food Volunteers Presented Alternative to Sugary Drinks and Salt at Arlington County Fair

By Sue Gonzalez

Master Food Volunteers (MFVs) joined Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists and 4-H Program Leaders to present a group of Virginia Cooperative Extension educational exhibits at the annual Arlington County Fair, August 8-10, at Thomas Jefferson Community Center.

The MFV display featured two hands-on activities that appealed to fairgoers of all ages. To promote reducing sodium intake, fairgoers were invited to make their own spice mixes to take home. Dill, oregano and basil were among the available herbs and spices.

The other activity was a Rethink Your Drink Ring Toss game created by MFV Mike Perel. The game board included empty containers of sodas, a sports drink, milk and water, filled with 1 sugar cube for every teaspoon (4 grams of sugar) in that beverage. The goal of the game was to get the rings around the two beverages that have zero added sugar – milk and water. While the youngest children enjoyed the challenge of tossing the rings, older children and adults discussed the message of the game with MFVs.

“While we encourage people to read nutrition facts labels and choose foods and beverages with less added sugar, there’s nothing quite like seeing one of your favorite beverage bottles filled with a pile of sugar cubes to drive the message home,” said Jennifer Abel, Arlington County’s senior extension agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension.

  Grams of Added Sugar Equivalent Teaspoons or Sugar Cubes
Pepsi 69 17.25
Coke 65 16.25
Sprite 64 16
Ginger Ale 59 14.75
Gatorade 34 8.5
Milk No added sugar 0
Water 0 0

Thanks to MFVs Nancy Broff, Sue Gonzalez, Joe Missal, Yoko Moskowitz, Mike Perel, Bruce Pittleman, Claudia Scott, and Sharon Simkin for working the exhibit and helping to make this year’s fair a success.

Arl. Co. Fair 2014

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