updated 5/19/2011 1:47:21 PM ET 2011-05-19T17:47:21

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., May 19, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Junior League of Orange County, Calif., (JLOCC) is holding a Kids in the Kitchen event 9 a.m. - noon, Friday, May 20, for 5th grade students at Hazard Elementary School in Santa Ana.

The event will feature booths offering fun activities to teach good eating habits, exercise options, and the importance of establishing healthy habits at an early age. Hands-on learning activities will include planting seedlings, using the hula hoop, "boot camp" basics, and a "healthy food game show" conducted by members of the JLOCC. They will also offer a presentation on the importance of eating well, complete with examples of healthy meals and snacks to be consumed throughout the day.

The Junior Leagues' Kids in the Kitchen is an Association-wide initiative of The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) designed to help communities address the urgent issues surrounding childhood obesity and poor nutrition. The program was launched in 2006 by Junior Leagues in over 225 communities. By joining together to make an impact on the future health of our youth, Junior Leagues are committed to empowering today's youth to make choices that help them lead healthy lives. The initiative illustrates the power of voluntarism to address community problems on both the grassroots and international levels.

Key to the impact of the initiative is the Kids in the Kitchen website, which includes fitness and nutrition tips from Kids in the Kitchen program partners the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), American Dietetic Association (ADA), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and many more.  The Kids in the Kitchen website also includes a virtual recipe collection from celebrity chefs, local restaurateurs, celebrity moms and nutrition experts, designed to teach young children healthy eating habits at an early age.  These recipes are available in electronic and downloadable formats on the website, http://kidsinthekitchen.ajli.org

About the Junior League of Orange County, California, Inc.

The Junior League of Orange County, California, Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and the leadership of trained volunteers.  JLOCC has contributed to Orange County by helping found organizations such as Orangewood Children's Home and the Volunteer Center of Orange County.  As a solely educational and charitable organization, the JLOCC's trained volunteers actively support the community through collaboration with organizations that promote and support the health, safety and education of women and children. A 501(c)(3) organization, the JLOCC reaches out to women of all races, religions, and national origins. Originally founded in 1956 as the Newport Harbor Service League, the JLOCC is a member organization of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.  To learn more about the JLOCC, call (949) 261-0823 or visit www.jlocc.org.

Funds raised annually by the JLOCC directly impact the community through collaborative projects with partner organizations and support JLOCC's mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community.  This year's projects include the Olive Crest Kinship Support Services Program; Second Harvest Food Bank Backpack Program; Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Reading Program; Crittenton Services Connect Program; Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Emancipated Youth Program; Impact Orange County; and Bear Hugs, a JLOCC project supporting emancipated teens in Orange County.  

CONTACT: Susan Ballou
         (949) 477-3070

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