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Mamaroneck Daily Voice serves Larchmont & Mamaroneck
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Crunchy Carnival Steers Kids in Healthy Direction

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Joaquin Casterella, 7, likes syrup on his pancakes, but he may not be as liberal in the future after learning how much sugar is in it at the Mamaroneck Avenue School (MAS) Crunchy Carnival Thursday night.

Jill Lankler, who helped organize the event, poured the amount of sugar found in some popular snacks, like syrup, soda, candy and even yogurt, into a measuring cup to give kids perspective on what the numbers on the label actually look like. Then, she would ask, "Would you eat all of this sugar?" To which Casterella answered with a resounding "No."

Casterella and his brother DJ toured different tables featuring various food and wellness activities at the second annual Crunchy Carnival, which the district wellness committee piloted last year at MAS and Central School. This year, they decided to expand it to all four elementary schools.

Each table was geared to educate children, and parents, about issues including sugar intake, proper portions and reading product labels.

"If kids are given the information, they make the right choices," said Lankler, a member of the Murray Avenue School PTA and a food and wellness coach with Morendorfins LLC. "That's what this is about, giving kids the right information."

Like Casterella, Sean Hodman, 11, was interested in the portion distortion table. He and his father Bill learned that 20 years ago, a cheeseburger was 330 calories. Today, it is 590 calories, according to their poster.

Other activities included crunchy cafes, food experiments, nutrition detectives, fitness monopoly, eco-art, yoga and Zumba.

Parents can still sign up for the Murray Avenue health and wellness night, as well as volunteer by contacting Jill Lankler at


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