Boston preschoolers and their care­givers in four city neigh­bor­hoods will learn to eat healthier, thanks to a col­lab­o­ra­tive new edu­ca­tional pilot pro­gram, Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures. The ini­tia­tive was announced today by North­eastern pres­i­dent Joseph Aoun, Boston Red Sox pres­i­dent and CEO Larry Lucchino and Children’s Hos­pital Boston CEO Dr. James Man­dell, who were joined by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino at the Rox­bury Action for Boston Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment (ABCD) Head Start site.

(To watch a video of the announce­ment, click here).

A part of Northestern’s Stony Brook Ini­tia­tive, the part­ner­ship among the uni­ver­sity, Children’s Hos­pital Boston, the Boston Red Sox, and ABCD will pro­mote healthy eating habits to chil­dren and their fam­i­lies in the Fenway, Mis­sion Hill, the South End and Lower Roxbury.

This part­ner­ship demon­strates the power of col­lab­o­ra­tion, and will show that what we can’t accom­plish alone, we can accom­plish together,” said Pres­i­dent Aoun.

The pro­gram will address the growing inci­dence of obe­sity in chil­dren. According to a recent study, one in five Amer­ican four-​​year olds is overweight.

From day one, we have to give these kids an oppor­tu­nity for the future, and we are working together to make sure these kids have a healthy start,” said Mayor Menino.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures will engage par­ents and child­care providers of preschool-​​aged chil­dren through edu­ca­tional work­shops aimed at pro­moting healthy behav­iors both at school and at home.

Dr. Man­dell spoke of the impor­tance of extending health and well­ness aware­ness to care­givers of chil­dren in an effort to stem the obe­sity epidemic.

An effort against obe­sity has to be a col­lab­o­ra­tion, and I think that this pro­gram could serve as a national model,” he said.

Lucchino said that the com­mit­ment of the Red Sox extends beyond that of the playing field.

At the Red Sox, we want to be more than just a base­ball team, and this is an oppor­tu­nity for the Red Sox to be actively involved with great part­ners in a project that will directly ben­efit the people in our com­mu­nity,” said Lucchino.

Named after an ancient waterway that con­nects the neigh­bor­hoods sur­rounding North­eastern, the Stony Brook Ini­tia­tive is an evolving part­ner­ship among North­eastern and its neigh­bors aimed at cre­ating solu­tions to urban issues that are devel­oped from the ground up. Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures is the most recent example of this mul­ti­fac­eted approach, which empha­sizes inno­va­tion and the devel­op­ment of mutu­ally ben­e­fi­cial partnerships.