Kean University is an institution that aims to bring awareness to issues and topics that are necessary for the benefit of others. On Friday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) partnered with the American Heart Association to fight against heart disease by participating in National Wear Red Day.
As a non-profit organization, the American Heart Association has a mission to fund cardiovascular medical research and educate consumers on healthy eating habits to reduce diseases, deaths and other issues.
Moreover, their "Go Red For Women" initiative seeks to build a platform where women around the world can learn about heart health and methods to live a better lifestyle. The American Heart Association started this initiative to increase women's awareness of this concern, but now many years later women use this as a commitment to stand together.
At Kean University, Wear Red Day signified that students supported the fight against heart disease and allowed awareness to spread throughout the campus.
Upon entering this event, individuals could be seen interacting with the different tables situated in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium. Just like last year's event, games such as Trash or Toss and Wheel Trivia were present during this event.
Trash or Toss was a game that allowed students to test their knowledge on foods and beverages that are either beneficial or harmful for their bodies. With materials such as ping pong balls, baskets and pieces of paper, students were able to throw away the bad foods and place the good foods in a box. Named products included Diet Coke, fruits and other items that one would have access to in their daily lives.
Wheel Trivia consisted of true or false questions that students could answer for a prize. Prizes included gum, candy and pens, while also the opportunity for bragging rights.
On the spectrum of healthy eating, CLS offered heart healthy snacks for students to try and possibly implement into their future diets. Snacks such as granola, dark chocolate, walnuts, almonds, cranberries, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds were offered, accompanied by nutritious facts .
Furthermore, throughout the event there were different pamphlets and flyers with important, beneficial information for the Kean community. There was also tips on how to cook and eat healthier, which included:
- Unsweetened applesauce can substitute for some of the sugar in a recipe.
- Instead of store-bought sauces, make or find homemade versions.
- Swap sugar-sweetened beverages for plain or sparkling water.
- Instead of eating sugar-based desserts, eat naturally sweet fruit.
- Making trail mix or granola is healthier than candy.
- Swap sugar for a no-calorie sweetener.
As for tips from the American Heart Association:
- Eat four to five servings of fruits and vegetables each per day.
- Only wash, cut or peel when ready to eat.
- The fridge temperature should be 40°F or below.
- Always refrigerate cut or peeled produce.
Service Specialist for Health and Wellness Rachel Domke has participated in this event over her two years with CLS.
"The two years I've been here we have had a variety of people stop by, and in both years I felt we had a great presence," said Domke. "We always offer interactive games like Trash or Toss and Wheel Trivia with information on different programs and clubs on campus. These programs come with their own information and interactive table. [For example], Student Health Services checks blood pressure, and a snack area is always around [for students to] make [their] own trail mix!"
For more information, visit Community and Volunteer Services webpage or visit Miron Student Center, Room 219.