Tolson Youth Activities Center opened its doors for the Nutrition Fest March 13 for children from Fort Bragg’s child development centers.

While the event was meant as a fun break for the children, it also featured exercise activities, nutrition education as well as puppets shows aimed at reinforcing the important role of the military child in the Family dynamic.

“What we are looking to do is emphasize the importance of National Nutrition Month,” said Walter Boyd, nutrition manager, Child Youth and School Services. We have craft a lot of craft activities this year that can help children relate to what good nutrition is all about.”

As buses arrived, children were led inside the gym to face challenge stations. The stations featured games and puzzles to help them identify healthy foods.

“We have face painting as well as a germ detection device,” said Boyd. “The children can put their hands inside the machine and it reveals the parts of their hands that have germs on them. Then we let them clean off their hands and see what it looks like when they have clean hands.”

The children took part in the scheduled activities but, understandably, it was the interactive puppet show that was the main attraction for them.

Lenny Harris, a mobilization deployment specialist, Army Community Service employees was one of the puppeteers.

“The show emphasizes the importance of the Army child,” said Harris. The main character Tommy helps the children identify by sharing his experience as Army Family member.”

The message Tommy, the military child puppet, passed on through his song, dance and acting was that military Families are great and bring great joy to everyone.