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Kids-Fit program encourages healthy lifestyle

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Children work on their flexibility during the Kid-Fit program. Children work on their flexibility during the Kid-Fit program.
Children learn to live a healthier lifestyle by playing games. Children learn to live a healthier lifestyle by playing games.
Learning proper nutrition is a large part of the program. Learning proper nutrition is a large part of the program.
By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The age of 2-years-old is now the tipping point in a progression that leads to obesity later in life. That's the result of a new study suggesting that doctors may want to start reviewing the diet of children at early visits.

There are now local efforts underway to get younger kids eating healthier and exercising more.

The program begins with 5-year-olds, and goes up to 5th graders. It's called Kid-fit and is designed for kids to get "hands on".

For kids to learn how to get fit, it has to be fun. Children are learning how to boost strength and flexibility.

"Here we do yoga and play games, and at home I usually just watch TV," 10-year-old Ramsey Tarrant said.

Games that the kids can do at home are vital in staying active.

"We have hopscotch, for example, that we do in class and we have a mat, but we also show them how they can do those types of things at home with sidewalk chalk," Dietician Lori Manning said.

Nutrition may be the most important part of the day when the children learn not only what is healthy, but also how to make those foods.

"They're really just like sponges, and they soak up the information and they get really excited about healthy nutrition and taking care of their bodies," Manning said.

A lesson in smoothie-making and cooking lean beef and beans for a low fat burrito is encouraging kids to snack smart.

According to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, 40 percent of Oklahoma children are overweight, or are at risk for being overweight.

So, children at the Kid-Fit camp are changing their ways.

"I eat less of it than I used to, like junk food, chips and stuff," Jessica Whitfield said.

By starting young, doctors said these kids will have a healthier adult lifestyle, cutting their risk of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

If you're starting to schedule after school activities, your kids can get involved in Kid-Cook at Mercy Hospital. The number to call is 752-3087.

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