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Educators Make Nutrition Big So Kids’ Don’t Get So Big

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Monday, September 17, 2007   

Denver, CO – A study released this month found that Colorado is the "thinnest state." However, childhood obesity is on the rise and educators are looking at new ways to fight this growing health problem by getting kids to make healthier choices. Debi Flynn with Clayton Family Futures, a Denver "Head Start" program, says obesity isn't the only problem she sees with young children.

"About ten percent of our children are obese, but we're also seeing kids who are underweight. It is an interesting dilemma."

Proper nutrition is key to fighting both problems, and Flynn urges parents to be persistent as they coax their kids into eating healthy foods.

"Research indicates that, on average, parents need to introduce children to a food seven times before they'll even try it. Kids are also more apt to try something if they have a peer that's eating a particular food."

Flynn recommends having "tasting parties" or other social activities to make nutrition into a fun learning experience. Her program includes a wellness component for school staff members, to make them into healthier role models.

"In order for us to portray a healthy lifestyle to the children and the families that we serve, we first need to do it ourselves."



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