Quest spreads awareness about healthy living with Wellness Week
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In honor of Monday Oct. 24 being National Food Day, Quest Food Services hosted Wellness Week in the cafeteria all of last week.
The goal of the week was to encourage healthy eating as well as healthy habits. The Hinsdale Farmer’s Market offered free healthy snacks and healthy advice during all lunch periods.
“I thought it was really great that they had a free, healthy option for students. The cafeteria often doesn’t have very much food that is healthy, aside from “baked” chips, which are too artificial to be considered food anyway,” said junior Emma Jerzyk. “Most of the food I thought was good, like the apples they gave out for free on the first day. But I do think that giving kids a healthy option is a step in the right direction,” Jerzyk said.
Some of the free foods included apples, pears, plums, and even Pirates Booty. Besides giving out free food, posters spread throughout the cafeteria emphasized healthy habits and small changes that people can make to increase wellness. The posters were taped to the tables and featured pictures of healthy foods with accompanying descriptions offering suggestions for how to use these foods in dishes. The natural foods showcased on these posters offer healthy alternatives to processed and other unhealthy food options.
Wellness Week is not without its critics, however. “It’s always nice to have free food, but I always see Wellness Week as more of a charade than anything else,” said senior Robert Chun. “The cafeteria clearly builds its business on unhealthy foods like burgers, fries, and pizza. The idea that Quest was chosen because it offers healthier items is ridiculous. It seems as though these events are more to fool the administration than create healthy lives for students,” Chun said.
Although on the surface it may seem unrealistic that a school cafeteria is promoting healthy choices, Central has a whole team devoted to cooperating with Quest, the school’s food service, to create a healthy atmosphere for students. “The Health and Wellness Committee has been around for over five years and consists of a group of Central students and faculty,” said Assistant Principal William Walsh.
The committee looks for the help of employess associated with the Physical Education Department, the Guidance Department, and the administration. Together with students, and occasionally with the help of other clubs, this committee plans the fall and spring wellness events.
Guidance counselor and cross cCountry coach Mr. Mark McCabe is a strong supporter of the Health and Wellness Committee. “It is important to think of food as fuel. A driver at the Indy 500 wouldn’t put low grade fuel into his car. By eating a wide variety of foods and staying as close to nature as we can, our bodies can function most optimally,” McCabe said.
The Girls Cross Country team frequently discusses healthy decisions. “Sometimes athletes think that training alone can get us where we want to go. However, decisions made outside of practice are just as important,” McCabe said.
“Eating healthy is important to me because it makes me feel better while running and gives me an edge on my competitors,” said Jill Hardies, a junior and varisty runner for the cross country team.
From making good food choices to getting adequate sleep, healthy decisions are an important part of everyday life for many students.