Two Tampa moms say diet and exercise shouldn't mean supersized value meals and fast finger moving on video games.
It should mean fruits, grains and vegetables and running around outdoors.
To encourage it, Marisa Langford and Candice Bernstein have created Fit Kids Playground, a one-day event to promote healthy eating habits and exercise. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 13 at Hyde Park Village.
Fit Kids will have a main stage with interactive activities every 15 to 20 minutes, from jump-roping to toddler yoga classes to a DJ spinning dance music. Publix Greenwise Market is sponsoring a Nutrition Alley, where parents and kids can sample healthy products, talk to a child nutritionist and load up on free snacks and information. Vendors will promote programs, classes and initiatives.
"We wanted to give parents a well-rounded view of what's available to them,'' said Langford, a mother of two children, ages 3 and 4, and another on the way.
Langford and Bernstein, who has a 5-year-old son, started working on the concept about a year ago. The idea was to create something unique that would inspire healthy habits for life.
"We didn't want it just to be another vendor fair,'' Langford said. "It's more than that. It's interactive. All of the activities revolve around health and fitness and target kids.''
Langford and Bernstein also founded Sitter Soirees, which connects parents and potential babysitters. Langford is the local organizer of Baby Loves Disco, dance parties for kids.
Fit Kids targets children from birth to about 10 years old. Among the partners: the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, whose mission is to alleviate childhood obesity and promote lifelong healthy practices.
"We need to change the whole mindset,'' said Linda Webster, a volunteer spokeswoman for the Alliance. "Children just want to eat and play video games. We need to teach kids to make proper choices. Everything that looks good might not be good for you.''
If successful, organizers hope to make Fit Kids Playground an annual event and expand it to other Tampa Bay counties.