A new program at the University of Florida hopes to help kids make healthy choices to last a lifetime.
The Healthy Kids Program, a lifestyle initiative geared toward helping families with children ages three to seven, will host its first sessions in May in three North Central Florida counties: Suwanee, Putnam and Flagler.
“The goal of the program is to introduce kids to healthy eating and physical activity so they can develop healthy habits that last for a lifetime,” said Crystal Lim, Ph.D., a UF research assistant professor in the department of clinical and health psychology.
Increasing rates of childhood obesity has increased the need for programs that teach children how to live a healthy lifestyle, Lim said.
Families who sign up for the program will meet with a team at offices in their local counties.
Participants will attend 12 group sessions over four months, and parents and children will be taught how to try healthier foods and engage in fun physical activity.
The Healthy Kids Program targets children who are at risk for developing health complications associated with obesity, Lim said. Specifically, the program seeks to help families in rural communities, since research suggests people in those areas are at an increased risk for obesity.
Families interested in participating in UF’s Healthy Kids Program can call 1-866-673-9623 to sign up.