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Local Duo Provides Healthy SKWATS and Sweet Treats

Social worker and fitness coach create free fitness program for kids

Hannah Larson, a social worker with a passion for cooking and fitness, loves teaching kids about wellness. She has taught cooking classes for several years, and though she works with people from varying backgrounds, her favorite students are children. In June, Hannah was inspired to reach out to Jake Nash, owner of Endure, Rise & Conquer fitness studio, to co-host a wellness class for her young pupils.

The plan was to host one joint class, but Larson and Nash were planning the next one before their first program had even ended. Thus, Supplying Kids with Wellness Activity and Treats – otherwise known as SKWAT – was created.

SKWAT is there to teach children the importance of making healthy decisions in the kitchen, but also in their free time through activity. 
Hannah Larson, SKWAT

SKWAT is a fun class (with a fun acronym) that teaches children ages 5-12 important skills and health habits. Attendees begin in the fitness studio inside Banbury Place, where Nash runs them through 12 one-minute exercise stations. Once they’ve got their jitters out, the kids move over to Forage – a shared culinary space in Banbury – where Larson instructs in how to make a healthy, delicious snack.

Past classes have taught how to make banana “ice cream,” granola, and energy balls, while upcoming classes will focus on smoothies and oatmeal bake. Students are sent home with a kit that includes ingredients to make their new snack at home.

Each session ends with a Q&A session during which participants have a final chance to ask any questions about living a healthy lifestyle.

“The classes are providing the children with the opportunity to better themselves now and forever,” Larson said. “As the obesity rates increase and more children are diagnosed with chronic disease, SKWAT is there to teach children the importance of making healthy decisions in the kitchen, but also in their free time through activity.”

Larson and Nash offer the classes at no cost so that any interested children can attend. They’re currently hosted every two weeks, although the founders want to expand to offer classes weekly and to provide similar programs for toddlers and teenagers. Currently, the duo pays for the program out-of-pocket, but they are beginning to branch out and seek grants and donations.

Each class has room for about 10 students. Parents can reserve space for their kids through Eventbrite at Tickets are free, but parents are welcome to make a donation to the program. Each class takes about three hours.

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