Making Health Easier: Healthy Changes Start in Preschool

Inhale. Exhale. Again. Inhale, exhale one more time. Inhale okay, we’re ready to
start our day. My name is Claudia Mendoza and for the past five
years I’ve been working with preschoolers. Child obesity it’s a
problem in the U.S. and it’s a growing epidemic,
but what worries me the most, it’s something that could
be prevented. One third of kids are
overweight or obese. But now as the kids come, I
want to do something about it. “I’m movin’. I’m learning. I’m
movin’. I’m learning. I’m learning to move, I’m
moving to learn, so come on everybody let’s
sing this song.” They’re like little sponges
that absorb everything. So as much information we can
pass them out to them, they learn and they talk
about it and they take that to their
families as well. Amelia talks to me about the
Yoga classes and she tries to teach me her
yoga poses. [Laugh] I saw the yoga class and
was like, you know I want to bring that
to my classroom too. It’s not the yoga that is like
concentration. It’s yoga for preschool, which
is only focused on stretching. And I also read that the
benefits, you know it’s about controlling
their bodies. It was nice to kind of boost
her ego a little bit with something that she could
teach us that we really couldn’t teach her at all. Going to leave it in our garden, so we can see how they grow and
we could eat all the stuff. Gardening and cooking with the
kids is something very fun. And it also teach the kids you
know where the food comes from. It teach the kids you know about the importance of
nutrition. Here she’s planting a carrot,
but at home, she’s taking care of a
tomato plant. One of Miss Claudia’s lessons. If I could share an example of
one of the kids, the parents shared with me that
you know at home, he used to drink soda. So now he say, “No I need water
cause my teacher say I need to drink water.” So the family started drinking
water as well. He’s making an impact as you
know as young as four years old. Who’s ready for lunch? Me! They’re learning healthier
habits at this age. It will stay with them for life. When we go to the store,
she’ll pick out fruits that she wants…
healthier alternatives. [Nat Sound] I’ve seen my kid grow not only
academically but as a person, as a human being and she’s
really learning, umm…you know things that
will grow with her that will make her make
better decisions. [Laugh] Let’s go! The stuff she learns at
school is going to carry on through out her life. I think it’s important we as
teachers, as adults, as parents we have to show them. Sometimes we want the
kids to read. They have to see us
reading. We want them to eat vegetables; they have to see us eating
vegetables. We want the kids to exercise;
we have to exercise as well. If everybody does just their
little part, we could do so much.

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