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A Quest to Teach Children How to Eat Healthy

Kaiser Permanente and Baldwin Park roll out a 'Moveable Feast' for kids.

Eduard Faris is only 10, and although he's only in fourth grade, he already knows that eating vegetables and other healthy food alternatives will help his development more than sweets and fast food.

"[Vegetables are] good for kids to eat so they can be strong and they have the vitamins we need," Eduard said at the end of a class offered by Kaiser Permanente and the that educates children to eat healthy foods.

"It is hard to eat [more vegetables] because you are not not used to them, but I will eat more," he added.

With the challenge in mind of changing eating habits in children, and the need for more education on the subject, Kaiser Permanente and Baldwin Park officials continue to promote "The Moveable Feast: Nutrition in the Community Garden."

The program encourages business, officials and community leaders to serve as volunteer chefs, who create healthy recipes for fourth-grade students from and elementary schools.

This Friday was District 57 Assemblyman Roger Hernandez's turn to prepare fresh apple juice and snacks that incorporated vegetables and whole grains.

Hernandez said that when these students go back home and teach what they've learned, their families have an opportunity to become more educated and achieve a higher quality of life through better nutrition.

"In cities like this, with high Latino populations, we see [a tendency where] they are more affected by fast food and high-sugar and bright-color diets. That is why these programs and partnerships are so important," Hernandez said.

Principal Maria Rios said that educating children with programs like these is the key to changing the problem of poor nutrition among Latino families.

"I think this program is great because it teaches the children. They say 'Mom, look, I learned that we should eat more vegetables,'" Rios said. "Changing the thinking of the new generations, we eventually see a more positive change."

The Kaiser Permanente program also allows students to grow vegetables in season at the Baldwin Park Community Garden, located at 13067 Bess Ave. They can then turn the cultivated fruits and vegetables grown at the Community Garden into healthy recipes at home.

The Community Garden was established in 1999 and has been used to educate both students and families about healthier eating habits.

For those residents over 55 who want to grow their own vegetables, workshops are held every Monday and Friday. For more information, contact the Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education office at (626) 856-4120.

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