While playing with food is typically discouraged, it will be par for the course tonight at West Elementary School.

The school district’s Nutrition and Health Education departments have teamed up to bring “FOODPLAY” to West El’s auditorium Thursday, March 13, as part of a night focused on nutrition, health and exercise.

The event starts at 5:45 p.m., with the “FOODPLAY” performance slated for 6.

The award-winning presentation, billed as a “fun-filled theater show” with everything from music, magic, juggling and more, relies largely on food as the featured performer, Gail Koutroubas, director of school nutrition, said.

The interactive show, which runs about 45 minutes, will also highlight “the importance of physical activity” in addition to nutrition, she said.

“It gets the audience involved,” she said.

After the performance, a number of physical activities and food-testing stations will be set up in the school’s cafeteria for children to get a taste — literally — of nutrition and exercise, Koutroubas said.

At the most basic level, attendees will “talk about sugars, talk about salt, talk about the different colors of fruits and vegetables they should be consuming,” she said

There will also be a variety of raffles for prizes that include movie tickets, restaurant vouchers and gift cards, shirts, books and more.

Admission to the event is free, with the Nutrition and Health Education departments splitting the $1,400 price tag to bring FoodPlay Productions to Andover, Koutroubas said. For more on “FOODPLAY” and what to expect, visit www.foodplay.com.

— Dustin Luca, staff writer

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