- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) - A handful of food donations, a little fun, a dash of education make a memorable concoction for school kids - and so does a smoothie bike.

Healthiest Manitowoc County, an organization that aims to increase healthy habits in the community, resorted to a “Fender Blender” to make smoothies for pantry-goers and volunteers this month, HTR Media (http://htrne.ws/1ennsD5 ) reported.

Ingredients - ranging from traditional smoothie additives like berries to lesser-used items like tomatoes and carrots - were put into a blender that was attached to a stationary bike. When that bike was pedaled, those ingredients blended together.

“We thought we’d come and show people how to make smoothies and perhaps they’d pick up the same ingredients as they walked through the line,” organization member Cath Pape said while making a banana, blueberry, raspberry smoothie with Greek yogurt and apple juice. “We’re working on increasing consumption of local fruits and vegetables.”

Pape said only one out of four children in Manitowoc County is getting the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. That’s something the organization wants to change.

“Ultimately, we’re getting kids to try new foods in a way that’s fun,” she said.

Usually, the smoothie bike is used to teach children, but teaching their parents can be just as important.

“I think kids watch what we do. What we do is sometimes more important than what we say,” she said. “So, it’s living it and giving people an opportunity to sample something they maybe otherwise haven’t done and bringing it home.

“The adults in the family make the decisions on what’s being served.”

The group also attends the Manitowoc Farmers’ Market with the smoothie bike the second Saturday of every month and takes the bike into schools and businesses, too.

“It’s just a creative way of showing people how to eat healthy,” Pape said. “It’s a teachable moment. It’s an opportunity to put a smile on somebody’s face.”

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Information from: HTR Media, http://www.htrnews.com

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