Pedaling a bike to power a blender isn’t how most people would make a smoothie. However, the Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services (JCHHS) is using an innovative approach to promote physical activity and healthy eating at the same time. The “Smoothie Bike” is a stationary bike that uses “pedal power” to blend a smoothie. It’s a fun and exciting method to teach people how they can use smoothies to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. The smoothie bike demonstrations encourage adults and children to eat nutrient-rich foods, like dark leafy greens, that might otherwise be less appealing.
Twice a month the smoothie bike is rolled out at the Jersey City Healthy Corner Stores Initiative’s monthly Health & Wellness Series events. During the events, JCHHS staff pass out free smoothie samples and recipe books on how to make a smoothie. The smoothie bike is also a great way to promote the fresh produce available to purchase at the Healthy Corner Stores.
As more corner stores join the Jersey City Healthy Corner Store Initiative, the smoothie bike will continue to be used for outreach events including store kick-off and health & wellness events. Through this initiative, Jersey City residents will learn firsthand how to integrate healthy eating habits and exercise into their lives.
In 2018, JCHHS received a $10,000 grant from the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network to implement the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Thanks to this funding, JCHHS will be recruiting four additional stores to its Healthy Corner Store network.