Healthy kids program spreads to 12,000 schools

(Photo: CNN)
(Photo: CNN)

(CNN) - Twelve thousands schools in the U.S. have begun participating in the Healthy School program, which aims to help reduce childhood obesity by 2015.

A healthy diet is part of the program.

"We had a chicken sandwich, and apples, yogurt, fruit and juice," said a student at Northeast Elementary in Danville, IL.

Fried foods are not served at participating schools.

"They've replaced less healthy options with fruits and vegetables and run taste tests so that kids are introduced to vegetables or fruits that they might not have ever tried before," said Ginny Ehrlich with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

There are also 30-minute P.E. classes every day, and kids take yoga breaks during class. Even the school's annual fundraising event is now a 1-mile walk. It used to be a bake sale.

Students are encouraging their parents to adopt healthy habits as well.

"Their young people actually hold them accountable in the grocery store and actually direct them to more of the fruit and vegetable aisle," Ehrlich said.

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