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Youth Alliance Teaches a Healthy Lifestyle at Heath Squad

Kids, ages 10 to 14, were taught about nutrition and exercise through fun activities including soccer and basketball lead by youth volunteers, and interactive lessons lead by a nutritionist and Safeway pharmacists.

“The kids were made aware of what they were putting into their bodies. They were concerned about the foods they normally ate and asked the nutritionist great questions about healthier choices.” Dolores Villalon

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in children and adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A study, conducted by researches at the Harvard School of Public Health, found that those who improved their diet by eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and less sweetened beverages and saturated fats significantly reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to those who made no dietary changes.

Throughout the week, the kids learned how to determine “sometimes” foods verses “everyday” foods, why fiber is important to health, and how vitamins and minerals impact their bodies.

Health Squad kids put their new knowledge to the test during a field trip to Safeway, where they practiced reading labels and identified healthy choices.

Kids also took part in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning activities, and were taught how to prepare healthy snacks at home by a nutritionist.  Safeway provided healthy lunches, snacks and waters for the week.

The free day camp was held from June 16 to June 20 at the Rancho Park Apartments in Hollister, thanks to in-kind support from Eden Housing.

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