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Beach Cities Youngsters to Learn Healthy Habits

A new program aimed at preventing childhood obesity has launched in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach preschools.

More than 200 children, ages 3 to 5, in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach are learning about nutrition and healthy eating through the new LiveWell Tots program, according to the Beach Cities Health District.

The program has launched at in Hermosa Beach and the South Bay Adult School’s preschool programs at the Pacific Center in Manhattan Beach.

"By the time kids reach kindergarten we’re already behind the ball," said Dr. Lisa Santora, chief medical officer at Beach Cities Health District, in a statement Monday. "The first six years of a child’s life are critical. It’s when they form attitudes and habits that will significantly impact their health for the rest of their lives. Yet, despite the data, there have only been a handful of limited trials and pilot programs that address obesity at the preschool level."

Now the LiveWell Tots program serves as one of few in the country to offer an obesity prevention model of its kind developed specifically for preschool-aged children, according to the district.

The program’s curriculum, the district has said, includes teaching youngsters about eating whole foods as a source of nature, minimally selecting processed and "low-quality" foods (such as cookies and chips), selecting a "rainbow" of colorful fruits and vegetables, and having a positive relationship with healthy foods.

"The beauty of LiveWell Tots is that the children simultaneously enhance their mindful skills while learning to connect with food in a positive way," said Gretchen Oshita, director of Youth Services at Beach Cities Health District in a statement Monday. "We’re laying the groundwork for kids to have a healthy relationship with food for the rest of their lives."

The LiveWell Tots' lessons are taught to students throughout the month and average about 20 minutes each. The program has rolled out during the same time the community aims to improve its health through the Vitality City initiative.

What do you think of the LiveWell Tots program? Tell us in the comments.

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