NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years, that's why we're seeing more programs to combat it.
When some New Haven girls go back to school in the fall and are asked what they did over summer vacation, they'll have a lot to share with teachers and classmates.
"Reach up high toward the sky."
This is the first year of the Healthy Living Initiative offered by Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, better known as LEAP , in New Haven.
"Lift our arms straight up and say I am a brave warrior. I am a brave warrior."
The brave warriors are from the Farnam Courts neighborhood, soaking in all they can to prevent childhood obesity.
"What I love about yoga is we can stretch out our bodies and we can balance," said 9-year-old Ayanna Lovieno. "It strengthens your muscles and your tone so that you can be flexible and work out."
Strong enough to plant a golden delicious apple tree.
"It will add oxygen to the world."
Other fruits and vegetables are flourishing. The blueberries are especially tasty.
"It's actually really, really good and that it's actually good for your body," said 9-year-old Nayeli Lopez.
Basil from the garden was added to the heavenly lunch wrap on Thursday's menu.
"This recipe was written by Betsy De Silva who is 10 years old from Connecticut," said Tina Ulrich, LEAP counselor.
It's loaded with hummus, quinoa, spinach, tomato and turkey, and very nutritious.
"I liked how it had like a beany flavor to the hummus and the quinoa was really soft, not hard," said 10-year-old Myah Hough.
Healthy choices they share with their families.
"At home like every Tuesday and Wednesday night, my mom and I try to make salads and we try to buy blueberries and bananas to have to eat for lunch," Myah said.
It's a summer of hands-on lifelong lessons they will be singing about for quite some time.
"Live life healthy, live life healthy. You know you want to live life healthy, live life healthy."
The girls helped to write that song.
A recent study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows 47 percent of girls and 51 percent of boys in New Haven are overweight.
The program is yet another avenue for LEAP to teach kids self-respect, leading to a lifetime of responsible decision making.
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