Sometimes getting out of the house with the kids to do an organized activity is just what you need when the day is about to turn crazy. Of course, it’s a huge bonus when it’s free and interactive for both moms and little ones. That’s why every NJMOM should have RWJBarnabas Health’s LiveWell Center on her radar. This facility, located on the grounds of Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, offers a host of family programming, including cooking classes, baby-led weaning, mommy-and-me movement, yoga, and so much more. We got a chance to check out the center and sit in on the Kids Snack Time class, led by Jenn Klein, an RWJBarnabas registered dietician (and NJMOM mom), who’s helping kids and parents make healthy, fun seasonal snacks together. (featured photo credit: RWJBarnabas Health)
Find a variety of family programming at RWJBarnabas Health’s LiveWell Center
The LiveWell Center is a part of the Anne Vogel Family Care and Wellness Center. This new four-story building offers comprehensive women’s and pediatric health services through two RWJBarnabas Health hospitals, Monmouth Medical Center and Children’s Specialized Hospital. On the bottom floor of the building is The Center, a space open to the community that aims to help families be their healthiest. The center is a hub for all things health and wellness for community members of any age, focusing on educating the community about leading healthy lives, and has a lineup of distinctive programming that changes monthly.
There’s a community room where classes like CPR, Mommy-and-Me Movement, Wee Ones Playtime, and Whee Get Fit and Play are held. Then there’s the state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen at the heart of the center and a perfect place for interactive cooking classes and events.
“We do everything from nutrition programs on baby’s first foods and baby-led weaning to kids’ snack time programs, teen cooking programs, and family programs,” says program director Abby Thompson. “Everything is free, which is unique in the world today.”
At RWJBarnabas Health’s LiveWell Center, kids AND moms learn together
We caught up with moms and their kids as they learned how to make sandwich sushi with the LiveWell Center’s registered dietician Jenn Klein. The idea is to roll out and flatten the bread, then fill it with toppings before rolling it back up and cutting it like a sushi roll—a huge hit for the kids (and the moms). “It’s my first time here, and I’m happy I came. They have a lot to offer that’s relevant to my kids and me,” says Emily Brown, an NJMOM who lives in Howell.
Mom Brianne Nauerz agrees. She says her daughter is more willing to try foods when she’s involved in the kitchen, so the activity was a perfect way to practice that. “I thought the class was great. I love having my daughter Charlotte help me with cooking, so this gives me some ideas,” says Nauerz.
The LiveWell Center’s calendar is constantly evolving, with ongoing regular classes like Kids Snack Time as well as seasonal and special events. The center even hosts a recurring Green Market, where families can come and shop for local, fresh, affordable fruits and veggies and get ideas for how to prepare them together.
“The goal is to have people come in and have a space where they can focus on wellness and have a good time while doing it,” says Thompson.
LiveWell Center at the Anne Vogel Family Care and Wellness Center
200 Wyckoff Road, Suite 1200, Eatontown, NJ 07724
This post is sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health to help every NJMOM and their family be their healthiest.