LIVINGSTON, NJ - The West Essex YMCA and Shoprite of Livingston are organizing a Healthy Smoothie Contest in honore of Food Day.

The goal of the program is to get parents and their kids to work together and to create good ways for kids to eat fruits and vegetables. Participants will also be able to identify what good smoothies are versus unhealthy ones.

Each YMCA School After Care location will participate in creating and submitting a recipe for the contest.  The contest is also open to the public with entries due to Christine Patorniti, Shoprite’s Dietician, by Oct. 13.

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To receive contest rules, guidelines and a sample recipe, Livingston residents can email Christine at Christine.Patorniti@wakefern.com. Participants are encouraged to like the Livingston Food Day facebook page www.facebook.com/LivingstonFoodDay and smoothie tips will be posted on the page.

“This competition is a great motivator to get families experimenting with new combinations of fruits & vegetables. Smoothies can be a great vehicle to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet, but they can also become laden with calories once sweeteners & flavored mix-ins are added.” said Christine Patorniti.  

Patorniti is available at the ShopRite of Livingston during the week to help participants with ingredient selections and is available to schedule store tours.

On Sunday, Oct 19 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the top three smoothies will be served at a tasting at the Family Fun Day for the After Care Families (which will be opened to the public) at the YMCA. People will be welcomed to cast their vote for their favorite smoothie.   An e-recipe book will be created with all smoothie recipes.  

Food Day, sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.  This is the fourth year that Food Day is being held and the third that Livingston is participating. Food Day is held on October 24, but efforts can be held anytime throughout the year.   

Key partners in Livingston’s Food Day efforts include the West Essex YMCA, Livingston Township, ShopRite, Kings, Livingston Public Schools, C.H.O.W, TAPinto Livingston, West Essex Tribune and other community groups.