Brainerd mayor dons cucumber costume for teenagers, promotes well being advantages – Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — It’s not usually youngsters welcome the sight of greens.

However they did on the Warrior Early Studying Heart in Baxter when Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux appeared of their halls as a life-sized cucumber on Thursday, Might 12.

“Who likes cucumbers?” Badeaux requested the greater than two dozen youngsters earlier than studying to them “When Cucumber Misplaced His Cool” by Michelle Robinson.

Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux wears a cucumber costume and reads to children

Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux wears a cucumber costume Thursday, Might 12, 2022, on the Warrior Early Studying Heart in Baxter whereas studying aloud “When Cucumber Misplaced His Cool” by Michelle Robinson.

Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

The mayoral go to in costume was the primary neighborhood outreach occasion of the yr by Crow Wing Energized to advertise the cucumber’s win as Crow Wing County’s Vegetable of the 12 months.

“One of many factors is absolutely to construct consciousness,” stated Karen Johnson, a Crow Wing Energized neighborhood well being specialist. “We wish folks to seize that vegetable of the yr — particularly the youthful ages — as a substitute of various meals selections, like maybe chips.”

One Vegetable, One Group

The zucchini, inexperienced beans, the cucumber, onions and peas had been within the operating for Vegetable of the 12 months. Of the 174 votes forged, 33.9% went for the cucumber and 33.3% went for inexperienced beans, based on Carolyn McQueen, a SNAP-Ed educator on the College of Minnesota Extension.

“Voting was completed electronically,” Johnson stated of the voting through which peas and onions tied for final place within the third county Vegetable of the 12 months contest. “Group members had been in a position to vote for the vegetable from Dec. 1, 2021, to Jan. 28, 2022.”

Crow Wing Energized launched the One Vegetable, One Group initiative to encourage wholesome consuming. The newest Crow Wing County Group Well being Survey discovered 2 out of three adults within the county aren’t consuming the advisable 5 or extra fruit and veggies a day.

Children stand and listen to a presentation about vegetables from people in vegetable costumes.

Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux, left, Karen Johnson, a Crow Wing Energized neighborhood well being specialist, and Kara Schaefer, a Crow Wing Energized neighborhood well being educator, speak about greens on Thursday, Might 12, 2022, whereas dressed as a cucumber, a pepper and a carrot, respectively.

Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

“Normally why greens have unhealthy reputations is simply how they style, so we’ve some good recipes that we’ll be sharing that you would be able to make with cucumbers,” Kara Schaefer stated.

Schaefer is a Crow Wing Energized neighborhood well being educator and helped present cucumber samples to the youngsters within the type of pickles to style on the Baxter outreach occasion.

“I actually do inform the children that their style buds on their tongue, they alter, so do not be afraid to maintain on attempting meals differently and also you’ll study to love them,” McQueen stated.

Badeaux the cucumber can be on the Brainerd Public Library at 10:30 a.m. Might 24 for storytime to unfold the gospel of fine consuming.

“We anticipate voting for the Vegetable of the 12 months in 2023 to be in particular person on the Crow Wing County Truthful,” Johnson stated.

Early publicity to wholesome consuming

Badeaux and others who had been dressed as a carrot and a pepper visited these within the Early Childhood Household Schooling program Thursday to advertise the Vegetable of the 12 months.

“Did you discover that we’ve some greens again right here?” requested Tahnee Flowers, a workers member, of the younger youngsters who babbled excitedly.

Badeaux stated, “Anytime that I can get out in entrance of youngsters and attempt to join with them, I believe it is tremendous essential. I believe rising up on this space the factor that caught out to me probably the most was the leaders and the period of time they spent attempting to attach with children.”

The One Vegetable, One Group initiative strives to unite the neighborhood by encouraging gardeners to plant, develop, cook dinner and/or share a single vegetable.

“We offer the seeds. … We now have the directions. We need to make it so simple as attainable so that they are in a position to plant no matter vegetable it’s after which to attempt that vegetable,” Johnson stated.

Crow Wing Energized’s acknowledged mission is to enhance the well being and wellness of county residents by focusing partially on psychological health and office wellness. Early childhood training about wholesome consuming can have advantages that final a lifetime.

“I believe it is actually essential not simply as neighborhood members however as leaders that we get in entrance of youngsters …. to share with them the significance of taking note of what they’re consuming, and the way what we eat and what we put in our our bodies impacts us,” Badeaux stated.

cucumber and pickle slices in sample cups

Slices of cucumber and pickles are positioned in disposable cups for youngsters Thursday, Might 12, 2022, on the Warrior Early Studying Heart in Baxter, to allow them to pattern the 2022 Crow Wing County “Vegetable of the 12 months.”

Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

Johnson stated of the cucumber, “Hopefully, they’re going to acknowledge that vegetable once they’re procuring with their dad and mom. After which, hopefully, the phrase will get again to the dad and mom as to the advantages … why must you attain for that as a substitute of chips, and simply how nutritious it’s for you.”

Cucumbers have vitamins, reminiscent of potassium and nutritional vitamins Ok and C, based on the U.S. Division of Agriculture, and are a low-calorie meals which can be primarily water, making them nice for reaching hydration targets.

“There’s one thing within the cucumber additionally that does assist your physique temperature quiet down, so it is a terrific summer season vegetable to eat to assist quiet down on these sizzling days,” McQueen stated.

Badeaux stated, “They’re versatile. You realize you’ve got obtained the chop it up, put it on a sandwich or a salad, you’ve got obtained the soak it within the oil with the onions, (which) is all the time a great possibility. However I’ll admit that with regards to cucumbers, I am slightly a fan of the pickle.”

Crow Wing Energized can be encouraging the neighborhood to extend their consumption of greens in 2022 by distributing seed packets, sharing recipes and selling wholesome consuming.

“You all the time obtained to search out artistic methods to get folks to eat greens,” Badeaux stated. “Fruit? Not an issue. Greens? You’ve obtained to be artistic.”

Cucurbitacins are a pure compound present in cucumbers and another greens, reminiscent of squash, based on the USDA, and a number of variations of cucurbitacins work collectively to inhibit most cancers development, however some folks merely can’t recover from the style or the feel of greens.

“I all the time inform folks to roast their veggies,” Schaefer stated. “When you do not like a veggie, put it within the oven — simply put slightly little bit of oil and salt and pepper on it — and it makes it extra into perhaps a french fry. It is slightly bit crunchy. It is not mushy.”

Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux responds to children at Warrior Early Learning Center in Baxter while dressed as a cucumber.

Brainerd Mayor Dave Badeaux responds to youngsters Thursday, Might 12, 2022, at Warrior Early Studying Heart in Baxter whereas dressed as a cucumber.

Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

Badeaux requested the youngsters seated at Thursday’s occasion in the event that they favored pickles and lots of responded enthusiastically with their tiny arms up within the air.

“I truly used to do stand-up comedy, and I really like crowds and love being in entrance of individuals, however extra so I simply love entertaining,” Badeaux stated of life as an enormous cucumber. “Hopefully, it is one thing they bear in mind as they turn into adults as properly.”

Free cucumber seeds areas

  • Brainerd Household YMCA, 602 Oak St., Brainerd.
  • Brainerd Public Library, 416 S. Fifth St., Brainerd.
  • Crosslake Chamber of Commerce, 35446 Crow Wing County Highway 3, Crosslake.
  • Crow Wing County Group Providers Constructing, 204 Laurel St., Brainerd.
  • Cub Meals, Baxter and Brainerd.
  • Supervalu, 30581 Patriot Ave., Pequot Lakes.
  • Go to Brainerd, 706 Laurel St., Brainerd.

FRANK LEE could also be reached at 218-855-5863 or at

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