Manhattan —

Some 40 percent of city kids are overweight or obese, with the numbers even higher in some neighborhoods. The city Health Department, working with Columbia University’s Teachers College and some nonprofit groups, launched a program aimed at getting children to make better eating choices – by learning how to cook.

The Kids Cook Monday, a weekly two-hour class, teaches children 7 to 12 and their guardians how to create simple, healthful meals on a budget. The pilot program, which began last year out of Teachers College, is being expanded, with sessions planned for the summer and the fall.