The aroma of freshly stir-fried vegetables permeated 's multi-purpose room as children from different classes gathered in groups at various stations.
Edna Sandoval, the school health clerk, along with the help of internationally renowned chef and nutritionist Chef Lala, also a Sumac parent, organized the school's first health fair and blood drive.
"We want to provide information to the kids on how to eat and live a healthy lifestyle," said Sandoval. "Because right now we are seeing a rise in diabetes and childhood obesity."
As a trial run, Sandoval offered the event during the school day just for the students, though parents were also invited. "I am getting some great feedback from the teachers, so next time we hope to organize an all day event on a weekend and make it an annual program," she said.
Chef Lala, a chef on The Biggest Loser, Spanish Edition, airing on Univision, has a son in kindergarten and wanted to teach the kids to make healthy snack selections.
"More and more kids like to cook with their parents, so I wanted to show them that food choices like vegetables can also be delicious," she said.
Chef Lala often comes to the classroom to plant vegetables with the children and demonstrate how to cook snacks like mashed cauliflower and carrot soup.
"They think they won't like it until they try it," she said. "You don't need tons of sugar in your diet to create delicious snacks."
Other stations at the fair included yoga demonstrations with parent/yoga instructor Holly Uuman, physical fitness tips with Luis Aracena, a trainer from The Biggest Loser, Spanish Edition and proper dental hygiene, presented by parent volunteers.
A blood drive was also part of the event. "We wanted to show the children that giving is also a part of the healthy body, healthy mindset," said Sandoval.
When asked what she will take away from the fair, Kennedy Iino, 5, said that she will now reach for an apple as an afterschool snack.