RICHMOND (KCBS) – Medical professionals, educators and parents have all been sounding the alarm about the skyrocketing problem of childhood obesity. Teaching kids about eating right is important – and can be challenging in any environment – but it’s an especially welcome lesson this summer at the Nevin Community Center in Richmond’s rough Iron Triangle neighborhood.

Mikaela Dunitz, founder of the nonprofit Three Squares, is joining forces with the community center to incorporate healthy living skills classes into the annual summer camp – something that in the past has only featured “standard” summer camp activities and fare.

This summer, kids are learning how to measure and use a knife, plus are receiving reminders about the importance of visits to the kitchen sink.

“Remember guys, we’re going to wash our hands for thirty seconds with warm water and soap and sing Happy Birthday to ourselves,” an instructor explained to the kids.

“How many of you guys know what a whole grain is?” asked the center’s director, Tetteh Kisseh.

“An example of a whole grain would be wheat,” she told the children.

On the menu one recent day: fruit salad and whole wheat pasta with veggies. The kids had a lesson on making pesto with fresh basil.
KCBS’ Susan Kennedy Reports:

A crucial camp rule: try at least one bite.

“I don’t like broccoli. It looks gross!” an 8-year-old named Xavier clearly wasn’t thrilled with the one-bite policy.

Smoothies with spinach were, however, a hit with some of Xavier’s peers.

“It’s really good,” said one child.

“I want to eat it every day,” another camper chimed in.

Campers range in age from 5 to 13.

“The main thing with kids’ classes is definitely about exposure and so we try and expose them to new fruits and vegetables,” summed up Dunitz.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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