Local health center teaching kids to be healthy in fun way

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An organization is hard at work getting kids healthy at an early age.

The NEA Baptist Clinic Foundation's Center for Healthy Children is offering a three week session for children. This class teaches kids fun ways to be active and introduces a number of healthy foods into their diet.

Director of Marketing for NEA, Deaundra Waddell, says this is an important opportunity that families should participate in.

"The purpose of this is to provide a free program to children who are overweight. Through the program we teach children about a healthy lifestyle. How they can eat healthy, how they can exercise and do things to help them control their weight and also we work with the families to guide the children so the entire family is a part of learning about a healthy lifestyle and encouraging this child to participate in healthy activities."

Whitney Lawshe has been working with the Center for Healthy Children and says the program is effective, "I really enjoy the program. I think it's something that's very good in this community and think it could be even bigger. I think a lot of parents don't realize what all kids are going through and how they can help them at home."

Deaundra Waddell, "This is all about health. It is more than just doing exercises. It's more than just learning how to cook. It's learning how to combine all of that so the children learn about a healthy lifestyle now and they don't have to deal with health problems and health issues later on as they get older."

In addition to all the activities they have a healthy snack prepared for the children everyday where the kids get to try something new and learn about nutrition.

"When they're eating snack we talk about what they're eating. No matter what we give them, we tell them they have to at least taste it. We teach them healthy ways to eat. We teach them nutrition and what they should and should not be eating."

Deaundra says there's a definite need for programs like this one.

"There is a real need. We've been exposed to a lot of unhealthy lifestyle habits and through this program we're trying to educate our community on healthy lifestyles and things they can do to control their eating and exercise habits."

Deaundra says not to wait another day when it comes to the health of your child and family.

"Now is the time to educate your child. Children have a lot of choices out there and they don't know what is healthy and what is not healthy. They look in the cabinet for something to eat and they look to you for something to do. We have to pattern those activities for them, whether it's what we eat or what we do."

Children who have a BMI that is twenty-five or greater then they can qualify for this program.

The fall program will begin on August 29th and they area currently accepting applications.

It will be three days a week for sixteen weeks.

For more information about this event, log onto their website.

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