Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Little hands and feet were on the move at La Petite AcademyWednesday morning,as the pre-schoolers were learning the importance of staying fit and eating right.

"It keeps them moving, they sleep better, nap better and eat better," said Tricia Sheldon the District Manager of La Petite Academy.

According to the Department of Environmental Health and Control, 1 in every 4 low-income children ages 2 to 5 are overweight or obese in South Carolina.

La Petite is just one of the 1,370 child care centers throughout the state taking part in the ABC Grow Initiative. Catherine Templeton with DHEC says they have partnered with the Department of Social Services to create a voluntary program targeting kids before they head into primary schooling.

"It is all in what you know," said Templeton. "If we say broccoli is cool because it is a tree a dinosaur eats and you make it a fun game, it becomes what they know."

The voluntary program is funded through a grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control.

"When children develop good habits early on, they have a statistically better chance to avoid obesity and the poor outcomes in health, learning and mortality associated with obesity," said Templeton.

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