LIHUE — Running through obstacle courses and riding blender bicycles, there were plenty of fun activities for the kids who came to Saturday’s Super Keiki Day at Wilcox Medical Center.
And it was more than just about having fun — kids and families learned about proper nutrition and exercise from medical professionals from Wilcox and HMSA, who were promoting diabetes awareness and prevention.
“We have seen more and more keiki who are developing Type 2 diabetes, so at this stage it’s really about educating our community about the two easiest ways of preventing diabetes, which is diet and nutrition with an active lifestyle,” said Faith Campbell, community relations manager at Wilcox Medical Center.
Maika Yamamoto was sprinting through the obstacle course, running around cones and crawling through a maze to stay active. Not only was he having fun, he was also staying active.
“We want to make our kids aware of how to stay active and be healthy,” said Maika’s mother, Cherie. “There’s so many different activities for the kids to do and they’re so excited. They all love it. It’s so interactive.”
Another popular booth was the blender bicycles, where a kid could pedal on a stationary fitness bike to blend a nutritious smoothie.
Eva LaBarge, manager of community benefits and event coordinator at Wilcox, sees Super Keiki Day as an event that the community should rally around, especially since diabetes among children is very common on the Garden Isle.
The importance of the event is to fight the battle of childhood diabetes early on, so that it’s not an upstream battle for families later on, according to LaBarge.
“Diabetes has a higher percentage among kids on Kauai than any other island in the state. We’re having an all-out effort to tackle diabetes,” LaBarge told The Garden Island. “We have portion plans here for kids that shows them how to balance their meals; half their plate should be vegetables. We want to teach kids how to live a healthy and active lifestyle.”