Local child care working toward a healthier tomorrow

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Getting kids to eat their vegetables is certainly a process, something family service provider, Tanisha Harris, knows very well.

"Kids are picky eaters so you may have to introduce them to the same foods six, seven times before they'll even try it," said Harris.

That doesn't stop the people at Rock Island Skip-A-Long Child Development Services, where they make sure their kids are eating right.

Harris said that Skip-A-Long makes sure to incorporate healthy eating habits into the kids' lives early on.

"We constantly look at the different types of food that we are serving the children [we] want to make sure we are being conscious of the children's health and make sure that, you know, we are serving nutritious meals to the children every day," said Harris.

A new study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the obesity rate of toddlers has dropped roughly 43 percent since 2003, now down to only 8 percent.

Yvette Smith has worked with toddlers at Skip-A-Long for the past 25 years and said she's seen a change in what they serve, "We went to more fresh fruits and fresh vegetables and now we're using more, like, low-fat milk."

Harris adds that it's important the whole community shows the kids how to live healthier.

"They'll take that to heart and put it towards a healthy lifestyle and encourage others around them to eat well as well," said Harris.