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Teens Participate in Health Ambassadors Program - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Teens Participate in Health Ambassadors Program

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For more information about the program call the Martha Jefferson Health Connection at 434-654-7009. For more information about the program call the Martha Jefferson Health Connection at 434-654-7009.

A group of Charlottesville teens is making their own breakfast on Friday based on healthy foods they've just learned to prepare, and they're expected to bring this newfound knowledge of nutrition back to their families and peers.

More than a dozen kids are participating in the Martha Jefferson Teen Health Ambassador Program Thursday and Friday at the Jefferson School City Center. This is the first time the program is being offered. Throughout the two days the students will cook, read food labels, participate in fun exercises, get their body mass index and discuss body image.

Dietician Rita Smith is helping the teens learn about healthy foods and prepare some of their favorites. They've already made skillet pizzas and tried different breakfast cereals and parfaits.

"We looked through food labels of cereal and saw what was in it and learned that you need starch, protein, fruits, and vegetables in each meal," said Kara Williams, an 11th grade student at Albemarle High School who is participating in the program.

Friday they're making breakfast burritos with healthy ingredients like turkey sausage and low-fat cheese.

"I will use the different things to be able to eat breakfast when I have a family, be able to give them a healthy breakfast and show my family good eating habits," Williams said.

Organizers say they want to educate teens about health and fitness. They say people who start young with good habits will be better off in the long run. Williams agrees, which is why she said she's taking the class.

"To be able to live a healthy lifestyle and be able to keep a healthy weight and be active and keep your body healthy," she said.

The students will get 25 hours of community service for their participation. They will also be expected to do an individual or group project from what they have learned at a health fair or a future Martha Jefferson event or forum.

The Teen Health Ambassador Program is available to students 13 to 18 years old on a first-come, first-serve basis. The first class filled up quick. Organizers are hoping to hold the program quarterly and the next one will likely be over the holiday break. For more information call the Martha Jefferson Health Connection at 434-654-7009.

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