WRITTEN BY CHRISTINE BULGER

Healthy Happy Hour is an event hosted by the SFC Wellness Center’s Deborah Seaton, Director of Student Health Services, and occurs every Tuesday from 10am to 11am in the cafeteria.
During Healthy Happy Hour students can grab some free healthy snacks to help start their day.

When asked about how the event started Seaton said, “It started about three or four years ago, I took a break last year because I was a bit drained…I was also in school. Again, I realized what the students need and we started again this semester.”

The snacks include fruits, sandwiches, on-the-go bars, juices and coffee.

Seaton purchases fruits from local neighborhood supermarkets such as Garden of Eden and Perelandra. The fruits that are available at the Healthy Happy Hour are those which are currently in season.

The snacks provided during Healthy Happy Hour are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cheese sandwiches on whole wheat bread. These sandwiches are cut in half for portioning reasons. Bananas are also available because they provide a great source of potassium.

Nature Valley’s Oats and Honey bars are also provided for students who are on the go.

Seaton expressed that she continuously researches information on healthy fruits and other snacks, choosing foods that “have the nutrients that are important for the stimulation of the body, mind and soul.”

There are also stress packs that Seaton distributes to the students. “The Stress Management” pocket pal includes information on recognizing the signs of stress, a number of methods to manage and relieve stress, and six anti-stress stretches. Candy is also included for those students who have a “sweet tooth.”

Seaton distributes a pamphlet called “Eating Smart For Busy People.” The pamphlet provides tips that allow individuals with busy schedules to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It provides information on making smoothies, tips for restaurants and fast foods, healthy microwaveable meals, and healthy brown-bag lunch choices. The information also includes the amount of calories, saturated fat, sodium, fiber, and cholesterol offered in various snacks.

Seaton also encourages the students to go to Yoga sessions available in the Genovesi Center on Thursdays during activity period.

By the end of the hour a majority of the snacks are finished.

After being asked about the future plans for Healthy Happy Hour Seaton said: “Just to keep it going, just to make sure the students are aware of what’s at St. Francis College. This is what St. Francis wants to give to their students. So this is one of the things I implement so they can have it for the semester and also help them learn how to eat healthier.”

SFC students seem to enjoy this new Healthy Happy Hour.

Freshman, Claribel Lizardo said: “I think that it’s important to have things like this to teach students about healthy eating.”

Junior, Mark Mendoza said: “I think it’s a great way of promoting healthy foods in our junk food world. I try and come here every healthy hour to support.”

Junior, Robert Calhoun said: “Healthy Hour is a very good hour because bananas keep you going in the morning, they wake you up, and they jump start your brain, I like it. I don’t know about the coffee, I’m not a coffee drinker but grapes, love grapes. I’m a California boy all my life, had grapes every day, so, fruit and juice that’s all you need.”

Don’t forget to check out Healthy Happy Hour in the weeks to come.

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