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Last updated: Wed. Jan. 15, 2014 - 07:15 am EDT

'To MyPlate and Beyond' at Science Central explores healthy eating

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Food fun

What: The “MyPlate and Beyond” exhibit shares information about healthy eating through several fun and interactive stations.

When: Opens Saturday. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

Where: Science Central, 1950 N. Clinton St.

Cost: $8, adults and ages 3-12; $7, ages 65 and older; and free, members and ages 2 and younger. Children ages 12 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Information: 424-2400 or go to www.sciencecentral.org.

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When Martin Fisher evaluates the quality of a science exhibit, two key factors are whether people are learning and retaining information, and whether they are having fun.

Fisher thinks he has a winner in “To MyPlate and Beyond,” a traveling diet and nutrition exhibit that opens Saturday at Science Central in downtown Fort Wayne.

“It is very bright, very colorful and has great information,” said Fisher, the science center's executive director.

It also has a several engaging interactive components, such as one area that lets children pretend to operate a restaurant and another that works like a video dance game, except visitors see a food item on the screen and must use their feet to stomp on its food group — Fruit, Grains, Dairy, Vegetables or Protein.

The exhibit, which is included in Science Central's regular admission price, was developed by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Fisher said. He saw it this past summer while his family attended the Indiana State Fair, and his children, ages 7 and 9, loved it.

The cartoonish characters of Max, a young boy, and his dog, Munch, visually lead visitors through the exhibit, which fills most of the traveling exhibit space on Science Central's lower level.

Stations in the exhibit focus on helping children — and adults — make better use of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's “MyPlate” tool, which promotes eating well-balanced and healthy meals and snacks.

Along with providing nutrition facts and information, the exhibit also offers suggestions on meal planning, such including a few specific menus for a good breakfast.

In addition, people can take home recipe cards to make a few different healthy dishes on their own.

kkilbane@news-sentinel.com


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