A variety of fruits and vegetables line the shelves of Bamboo Market in downtown Steamboat Springs. The 5-2-1-0 challenge called for participants to eat at least five servings of these foods a day.

Photo by Scott Franz

A variety of fruits and vegetables line the shelves of Bamboo Market in downtown Steamboat Springs. The 5-2-1-0 challenge called for participants to eat at least five servings of these foods a day.

LiveWell Northwest Colorado announces winners of first 5210 challenge

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5210 challenge winners

Outstanding school: Heritage Christian School

Outstanding classroom: Second grade class at South Routt Elementary School

Outstanding small business: Debbie Aragon, State Farm Insurance

Outstanding large business: Steamboat Christian Center

5210 challenge prize donors

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Moots, Ski Haus, SmartWool, Michele Meyer, Deb Froehlich, City of Steamboat, Yampa Valley Co-op, City Cafe, LiveWell, Boomerangs, Craig Scheckman Family Foundation, Debbie Aragon State Farm Insurance, Dax Mattox State Farm, Alpine Bank, Fuzziwigs Candy Factory, Bank of the West

— Debbie Aragon and her staff at State Farm Insurance brought in a secret weapon during the recent healthy eating challenge in Routt County.

It may not have tasted all that great, but the 8-ounce shots of a dark green concoction that included kale, frozen berries, heaps of spinach, orange juice and other veggies helped Aragon's insurance office prevail in Livewell Northwest Colorado's first 5210 challenge.

“We had the exercise part down,” Aragon said of the challenge that had particpants try to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day, completely forgoe sugary drinks, cut down on the screen time and step up the physical activity for a month. “I think the fruits and veggies are the biggest challenge for everyone.”

Aragon and her staff won two weeks worth of free personal training sessions from Deb Froehlich, of Coach Deb Fitness.

Barb Parnell, a community coordinator for Livewell Northwest Colorado, said her organization received back more than 150 calendars from adults and students who participated in the wellness challenge.

She said the goal of the program was to make participants aware of their eating and physical activity habits, and that goal was accomplished.

“We hope people think about their behavior,” Parnell said. “Our goal is to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

But knowledge doesn't always promote behavior change, and Parnell said the hope is that participants will continue trying to adhere to the 5210 challenge.

She also said more work needs to be done before next year's challenge is launched.

“We didn't see as much family participation as we would have liked,” she said. “We need to work harder at that next year and make it easier for them to participate.”

The 5210 challenge is just one example of several local wellness initiatives launched in recent months.

In South Routt, the district has been promoting healthy parties and fundraisers.

Parnell said the school has purchased a smoothie machine that is available to parents and teachers to make smoothies.

Also in South Routt, the elementary school received a bronze level award for being a HealthierUS School.

Here in Steamboat, elementary students are taste testing healthy foods every month.

This month, the students tried kale and carrot salad and kale chips.

“Now, we hope that because we have that education and knowledge piece out there, we see some results,” Parnell said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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