SHARECOMMENTMORE

KUSA - It may seem an unlikely marriage, but the Wellness Center, The Children's Hospital and McDonald's are partnering to bring kids in the metro area a program called "5th Gear Kids."

The kids are fifth-grade students in Aurora Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools.

The idea is to promote lifelong healthy habits to improve health, prevent obesity and improve academic performance. The hope is the fifth graders will be role models for younger students and their families.

The 5th Gear Kids program is designed to teach children, many of who frequently visit quick service restaurants with their families' weekly, lifelong skills in nutrition and physical activity. This will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid excessive weight gain and obesity.

One of three children in Colorado is considered overweight or obese. Most of them also will fight obesity as adults. In 2013, this program is reaching about 7,200 Colorado students.

Along with other partners, like Leprino Foods and King Soopers, McDonald's is one of the restaurants in the region offering special wholesome "5th Gear Kids" choices as part of the program.

When fifth graders choose any one of three meals at McDonald's that meet specific nutritional requirements, they earn points that can be redeemed for prizes on the "5th Gear Kids" website which is at www.5thgearkids.org.