Get on Track for a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can make anyone unhappy, especially kids. Their self-esteem can fall while their health risks rise, and these issues can persist into adulthood. It’s a situation that can sometimes leave parents feeling helpless and searching for answers.
That’s where AdventHealth for Children, formerly Florida Hospital for Children, comes in. Our team of specialists understands all aspects of weight management for children and teens. We can help your child lose weight and keep it off, and also avoid the health problems that excess pounds can cause.
Our Weight Loss Program has another essential component: Wellness. We help your child move into the future as a healthy, happy adult. Our program works because we talk to kids without jargon or judgement. And also because we care for the whole person — body, mind and spirit.
Can Help Your Child Stay Healthy
- Wellness Basics: How Diet and Lifestyle Affect Health
If your child is like most kids, he or she is happy to eat foods that are high in fat and sugar and low in nutrients. You may know the problems these foods can cause, but convincing your child is another matter.
The experts at AdventHealth for Children, formerly Florida Hospital for Children, bring a fresh perspective to talking with kids about healthy eating. We give them information on their level, with concrete and practical care that works. We can personalize a plan for your child with components such as:
- Answers about how your body changes as you mature. Puberty can be a real challenge, but knowing what to expect can help.
- Coaching for better sleep habits. Kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight, and may eventually have higher risks for other health problems.
- Counseling for emotional issues. Stress, conflict, arguments and other hurtful life events can affect health and weight. We give your child tactics to help stay cool and stay well.
- Help with healthy snacking. Fruits, veggies, trail mix, raisins — these are just a few delicious snacks that can fill your child up and give them energy.
- Information about what traits can run in families, and how they affect health — eye color, height, even risks for getting some health conditions, are inherited from parents.
- Nutrition coaching. A healthy diet can help your child stay well, look good, and have the energy he or she needs to feel great.
- Strategies for being more active. Just an hour a day of walking, biking, basketball or another activity can make a big difference in your child’s health.
- Tactics for how to have healthy relationships and avoid bullying. You can use strategies to stop bullies, and to keep from being a bully yourself.
- Weight Management
Children and teens who are overweight can feel powerless to change. They may have tried crash diets, diet drinks, or risky supplements, with little or no success. And all the while they’re dealing with the social isolation and stigma that comes with being different.
When your child comes to AdventHealth for Children, our weight loss and wellness experts begin right away to turn that around. The doctors and other expert professionals on our weight-management team understand the full range of risks, triggers, habits and other factors that lead to childhood obesity.
Your AdventHealth for Children team also understands that children aren’t just little adults. We use techniques that are proven to bring about the best possible result in specific age groups. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, you should expect care that:
- Focuses on helping your child adopt healthy behaviors such as choosing healthy foods in appropriate portions, and staying physically active.
- Follows up with a maintenance program to ensure that your child stays on track for a healthy weight.
- Includes a medical evaluation to check your child’s general health and look for any undiagnosed conditions.
- Is keyed to your child’s age and developmental stage.
- Treats the whole child, not just his or her weight, and includes your family in the care plan.
You can count on us to meet these standards, and to exceed your expectations. Our weight management program has achieved remarkable results in helping kids lose weight and enjoy the physical, emotional, and spiritual rewards to being healthy.
- Stay Healthy and Happy: Tips for Kids (and Adults!)
Think before you eat. Sugary treats and high-fat snacks are tempting, but the short-term reward isn’t worth the downside of weight gain and increased disease risks. Think about having some fruit instead, or some peanut butter on whole wheat bread. Instead of chips and soda, try some bite-sized veggies and milk. And remember, there’s a good reason why athletes drink lots of water — it helps keep them healthy.
Get up and move. The less active you are, the more likely you are to gain weight. Take time each day to go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride. Think about joining a sports team or an exercise class. It’s okay to start slow, with stretches or short walks. But keep working up to more active time and less down time. Your body will thank you.
Get some sleep. Kids need more sleep than adults — about 9 hours a day for most children and teens. If you consistently get less, you’re at higher risk for obesity and eventually for conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. You’ll sleep better if you go to bed at a regular time each night, keep your bedroom cool and dark, and avoid foods with caffeine in the evening. And keep your phone, computer, tablet, and other electronics out of your bedroom — the light from these screens can disrupt your sleep.
Make good friends. When you have friends you trust, you’re likely to feel safe and happy. And when you have someone you can talk to, you’re less likely to worry and overeat. Try to be honest and fair with your parents and teachers too. They are there for you when you need them.
Be better than bullies. We all know what a bully is — they tease and insult and may even get physically aggressive. If you’re being bullied, tell someone. Your teacher, parents, or any adult you trust needs to know when this happens. These folks are there to protect you, as well as any other kids that the bully may be hurting.
- Mission FIT POSSIBLE
For many kids today, weight management can be a real challenge. FIT POSSIBLE opens the door to fun, effective ways to lose weight, be fit and avoid childhood obesity.
AdventHealth for Children partners with WebMD and Sanford Health to bring Fit to you and your child. This national initiative aims to help kids and their parents get on board with whole-life wellness. It’s a comprehensive wellness program that includes:
- Food. Eating healthy can be delicious, with fresh fruit, great veggie dishes, whole grains, and other foods to give kids the energy and nutrition they need — without the excess sugar and fat that can add pounds.
- Mood. Kids’ emotions play an important role in their health. Fit helps your child and family learn ways to de-stress and manage moods.
- Move. Active games, sports, fun exercises — kids love to move when they get the chance. Fit incorporates physical activity with engaging lessons on fitness.
- Recharge. Children and teens need plenty of sleep to stay healthy and happy. Fit helps kids understand the importance of sleep, and gives you strategies for helping your child get enough rest.
With our Fit program, “edutainers” come to your child’s school, church, or community center. They engage kids in fun activities that teach them how to be physically and emotionally healthy. You can expect your child to become “fit friendly,” and to bring home tools your whole family can use to get and stay healthy.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a healthy weight for my child?
A. Healthy weight in children and teens depends on their age, height, and gender. Use this calculator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to check your child’s weight.
Q. What health problems can overweight kids have?
A. Children and teens who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for sleep apnea, depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure. These problems can get worse as kids grow up, and in adulthood the risks go up for heart disease, osteoarthritis, and some cancers.
Q. Can being overweight run in families?
A. In some families, most or all the members are overweight. This is usually because they share eating and physical activity habits. Changing these patterns can help the whole family lose weight and become healthier. Genetics can play a role in obesity, but you can overcome this challenge with healthy habits.
Q. Does AdventHealth for Children provide counseling for kids and families?
A. Yes. Our developmental and behavioral experts help children and their families with conditions such as anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, learning difficulties, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), behavior problems, autism/Asperger’s disorder, and others.
Q. How can I get my child started with AdventHealth for Children Weight Management and Wellness?
A. We welcome you and your child to our program, and we’ll personalize a program for your family to give you the best possible results. Get started by making an appointment or by calling us at (407) 303-KIDS (5437).
Cutting-Edge Medicine at The Kitchen House
Sometimes the best health care happens in the kitchen — especially if the food comes from a garden just outside the door. That’s what happens at The Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden, which is better known as The Kitchen House.
Kids come to plant garden vegetables, harvest them and help cook delicious meals. They take their skills and knowledge home with them, where they can replicate easy meals and share important lessons about nutrition and cooking. AdventHealth for Children is at the forefront of this move to start kids off with good eating habits, and to help them be ambassadors for healthy eating. Learn More
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With a Whole Team by Your Side
Our expert team of Weight and Wellness Care specialists is here to help you achieve a healthier weight and a healthier life. Trust our network of care to help guide and support you in your journey to wellness. With access to a wide range of wellness doctors, weight loss experts, community resources, and local support services, you can count on our multidisciplinary team to help you overcome any roadblocks in your journey to better health. We are here to be your coach — and biggest cheerleader — on the way to success.