Childhood obesity program teaches nutrition, healthy living

REED CITY — Seventeen children and their parents recently completed the first Rural FitKids healthy lifestyles program through Spectrum Health Designed to address childhood obesity, the free program featured activity and educational sessions during the school year and a one-week summer boot camp at Albright Camp in Hersey. After completing the program, parents reported their kids were making better choices at fast food restaurants.

“We taught children and their families how they could make healthier choices about the food they eat and how they exercise,” said Kim Lombard, MS, RD, CDE, and program site coordinator. “Families who completed the program now have the skills and education necessary to improve their behaviors that led to obesity in their children.”

Additionally, the program featured in-home visits by a Community Health Worker to support teachings in the home and with the student’s family.

Those that completed the program and attended camp were eligible to receive a prize as a reward for their efforts in the program. Some of the prizes included a Wii console, a mini trampoline, a portable basketball hoop, a laser tag game and a basketball arcade game.

The next session of Rural FitKids will begin mid-September. Classes are held Tuesdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at G.T. Norman Elementary in Reed City.

Another session will begin in January 2014.