Spectrum seeking children, families for obesity program

REED CITY — Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital is one of three Spectrum Health hospitals that received grant money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2012 to fund the Rural FitKids program for three years.

The program is offered to children ages 5 to 16 and their parents or support partners.

“We teach children and their families how they can 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 in 2013 report that they now have the skills and education necessary to improve their behaviors that led to obesity in their children.”

In June, 17 children and their parents completed the first Rural FitKids healthy lifestyles program through Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital.

Those who 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 in mid-January 2014. Classes are held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at G.T. Norman Elementary School in Reed City. Children must have a body mass index at the 85th percentile or higher and have a written referral from a health care provider.

To learn more about Rural FitKids, call (231) 832-4812.