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Stay Healthy Kids

The Stay Healthy Kids team is here to help you and your family maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

Why be healthy?

  • Feel happy
  • Have more energy
  • Stay strong and fit
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Learn better
  • IT'S FUN!!!

The earlier kids learn how to choose the right kinds of foods and be more active, the more likely they are to continue those habits as adults.

These easy-to-use tools are geared towards families already living a healthy lifestyle and those trying to change what they’re doing.

Exercise and Nutrition Resources

We want you children to get up and move.  That can be hard with the lure of television and video games.  But, there are many activities that are fun and will engage your kids. We can show you at least 101 Non-TV Activities!

Stay Healthy Kids provides these helpful materials to keep track of physical activities, healthy eating, and meal planning guides.

A Family Affair: UHS Stay Healthy Kids program teaches families to live a healthy lifestyle

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States. Today, about one in five children (ages 6–19) is overweight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Teaching children the importance of nutrition and maintaining an active lifestyle is one way to combat this trend.

UHS Stay Healthy Kids is a family-based education program that aims to help school-age children (K–12) and their families be more active and eat more healthfully. The program was revamped in 2015 by Megan Farmer, RN, BSN, CLC, UHS Stay Healthy Kids coordinator; Karen Bayer, RN, BS, director of Community Health Education at the UHS Stay Healthy Center; and Robert Auerbach, MD, a pediatrician at UHS.

Rather than focusing primarily on weight and body mass index (BMI), the program looks to improve the entire family’s lifestyle. “I love that aspect of the program,” says Ms. Farmer, “It brings families closer together.”

The program is modeled after Let’s Go! (letsgo.org), a nationally-recognized childhood obesity prevention program, and its 5-2-1-0 message: Each day aim to get five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, two or fewer hours of screen time, one or more hours of physical activity; and zero sugary drinks, plus more water.

Working closely with the children’s referring physicians, Ms. Farmer meets with families in a classroom setting or individually. Sessions take place at the UHS Stay Healthy Center at Oakdale Mall, at the Norwich YMCA, and at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Sidney. (The program recently expanded to the Norwich and Sidney locations.) Each of the four sessions is centered on one of the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 numbers, with topics including:

  • How to make exercise more accessible, encouraging families to see what the community has to offer in terms of fitness, such as visiting local parks, walking trails, playing tennis, etc.
  • How to plan healthier meals and grocery shop on a budget.
  • How to cook with more nutritious ingredients, and cutting back on fats and sugars.
  • Setting health and fitness goals as an individual and as a family.

“It’s so important to involve the whole family in the program, because those decisions affect everyone’s short-term and long-term health,” says Ms. Bayer. “Setting aside 10 minutes for a small goal is a simple change that can quickly become a new, healthier habit.”

Another benefit of the program is that participants say the sessions have helped make their family become closer because they do more activities together rather than separately, says Ms. Farmer. “I’ve had nothing but wonderful reviews from the parents and kids.”

One family in particular saw phenomenal results by working together. After a 13-year-old girl struggled through the first session, her two younger siblings joined her for the rest of the program. With their encouragement and participation, she thrived.

“The entire family changed for her and that benefitted them all,” says Ms. Farmer. “They were very successful.”

UHS Stay Healthy Kids is currently planning for further expansion in the future, and will also be hosting community events, such as the Halloween 13K in October.

It’s your goal to be healthy so why not have fun while keeping fit? Call UHS Stay Healthy Kids at 607-763-6722