Pediatric Wellness & Weight Management Program Resources

If you are looking to start making changes before your first appointment with the Pediatric Wellness & Weight Management Program, check out our resources below.

Top 10 Tips For Healthy Eating

1. Replace soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages loaded with sugar with water, low-fat milk, or sugar-free drinks.

2. Maintain structure in your day. Get up at your usual time and eat 3 balanced meals spaced 3-4 hours apart.

3. Try to include a serving of protein + a fruit, vegetable or whole grain at each meal. If it’s a longer wait between meals, include a snack with 1 oz. of protein + whole grain, fruit or veggie.

4. Spend the extra time at home getting creative in your kitchen! Click here to check out kid-friendly recipes. 

5. Use what you have on hand, whether it’s fresh, frozen or canned. Need to use that bag of frozen broccoli? Simply Google “healthy broccoli recipes” to discover new ideas. Pick those with little to no added sugar, sodium and saturated fat.

6. When you are able to shop, choose a variety of healthy choices like cut up veggies, fruits, whole grain crackers and nut butters. Skip the chips and feel more satisfied.

7. Aim to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. The fiber will fill you up and the abundant nutrients will boost your immune system.

8. Try the Start Simple with My Plate app. It offers food tips, meal ideas and a personalized plan to meet goals for eating fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy foods.

9. Make healthier fast-food choices. Pick a small, grilled “open-faced” sandwich instead of a large, fried one with both buns. Eat a side salad instead of fries. Skip the soda. Better yet, avoid fast-food places and cook at home whenever you can.

10. Eat when you're physically hungry. If you're tempted to eat because you're bored, that's your mind telling you to find something else to do. Screens and eating don’t mix.

Activity Suggestions

  • Go outside for a family walk or bike ride. Make sure you stay 6 feet from other people! Start small (15 minutes per day, 3 days per week), and as that gets easier, gradually add one more day per week until at goal of 7 days per week. Then gradually increase by 5-10 minutes per session.
  • Walk the dog. Both humans and dogs need active time!
  • Put on YouTube and do videos - dancing, Zumba, yoga, aerobic workouts.
  • Play music and have a family or solo dance party!
  • Play an active video game like Just Dance, Wii Fit U, Xbox Fitness, Shape Up, or Dance Central Spotlight.
  • Toss around a beach ball inside the house.
  • Kids and adults of all ages can get silly and sweaty with active games. Jump rope! Hula hoop! Tag! Hopscotch! Tug of War!
  • Have stair races.
  • Stand up during TV commercial breaks and jog in place or do jumping jacks.
  • Make an indoor obstacle course! Type "indoor obstacle course" into Google for ideas and inspiration.
  • Do lunges, push-ups, squats, stairs, and/or running in place for 30 seconds.
  • Look for free or gently used exercise equipment (treadmill, stationary bike, stepper) and use that while watching your favorite TV show.
  • Do muscle-building activities 3 times weekly for 20-30 minutes. Buy some hand weights or resistance bands so you can do this at home. Start with very light weights -- or maybe even by holding a ball or partially filled water bottle in your hands. Do exercises in sets of 10 repetitions x 3 sets. Take a brief break between sets to let your muscles rest.
  • This is a great time to do some spring cleaning or other house work!
  • For tips on how to get outdoors safely during this time, read the article "Getting Children Outside While Social Distancing for COVID-19". 

Wellness Suggestions

  • We know that you will be on screens more than usual during this time, and that's ok! But make time every day for activities that don't involve screens. Ideas include reading, drawing, coloring, board games, puzzles, journaling, playing with your pet, helping to cook, learning a new hobby, and physical activity. The list is endless!
  • There is a lot of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty in our world right now. If you are feeling sad, stressed, or worried, here are some ideas to help you feel a little calmer.
  • Download a meditation app to help with stress management and anxiety. Popular services include Headspace; Calm; 10% Happier; Insight Timer; Stop, Breathe & Think; and Meditation Studio, and many of these options have free or trial versions.
  • Flip the switch from being stressed to relaxed with deep slow breaths. Try the Box Breathing technique. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold the air in your lungs for 4 counts, breath out for 4 counts, and hold your lungs empty for 4 counts. Do this 10 times and you will feel much more relaxed after moving your concentration from your worries to your breathing. Yoga, martial arts, and meditation also teach great breathing skills.
  • Do something active. Go for a walk, put on a yoga video on YouTube, or let loose on a punching bag.
  • Creative outlets like art, music, poetry, singing, and dance are powerful ways to let your feelings out.
  • Talk to a parent, trusted adult, sibling, or friend who will listen and whom you can ask for advice.
  • Write out your worries in a journal.
  • Let your emotions out through laughter or crying.
  • Clear your mind with deep breathing, yoga, meditation, prayer, or a long warm bath/shower.
  • For more suggestions of ways stay happy together as a family during this time, read the article "Positive Parenting & COVID-19: 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home".

Additional Resources

Some additional resources for nutrition and weight management are: