SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif - 32 percent of children in San Luis Obispo County are obese according to the Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force.
A month-long program at a local school is looking to curb the problem.
Children at Georgia Brown Elementary are getting a crash course in eating healthy. "I got to eat broccoli," said a student.
Chef Greg and Kelly Wangard served up a local, fresh lunch for 530 students. "What we were trying to accomplish today was to really introduce kids to some ingredients they might have not tried before," said Kelly Wangard.
"I had mash potatoes, broccoli, and some vegetables," said a student.
This is all part of a month-long program to help children to begin healthy habits at a young age. "We're finding in certain areas of San Luis Obispo County that they have nutrition issues, either they are food insecure or the foods that they have available to them aren't nutritious," said Lisa Paniagua, a nutrition educator for the Cal Fresh Nutrition Education Program.
In fact, the California Health Interview Survey says nearly half the children in San Luis Obispo County do not get enough fruits and vegetable servings a day.
"They learn about all the food groups, different vegetables, proteins, dairy," said Gregg Wangard. "So it's great they actually get to see, smell, and taste a lot of the food they are learning about."
"The habits that they are learning now they can carry with them, not only through school and into adulthood but they'll hopefully extend that message to their families, so that families and communities can be as healthy as possible," said Paniagua.
Part of the program aims teach parents more about healthy foods and cooking at home.
The groups involved with the program hope to expand it to more schools in the coming years.