New program helps kids, parents improve their health together

A new program through the Tanner Health System called Kids N Fitness is helping families maintain good health by learning about nutrition and exercise.

"During the program, children and their families set goals that help them adopt healthy eating behaviors and learn to enjoy physical activity," registered dietitian Christina Schoerner, the program director, said. "Over the course of six weeks, they learn how to develop healthy eating habits and discover fun ways to exercise."

Parents and their children take classes together. The program encourages families to set goals focused on healthy eating and exercise.

Goals include limiting sugary beverages, increasing water intake and accomplishing 10,000 steps a day, to name a few. Kids receive a pedometer in class to measure their steps. The goals are set gradually and added one week at a time.

The goal one week is to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Kids and parents are shown how they can accomplish that by the healthy snack they are offered at the close of each class. For example, pairing raw veggies with hummus.

What sets Kids N Fitness apart from other programs is the family-based approach to making healthy changes.

Family members are encouraged to make the changes together, so everyone is on board. Seeing their parents involved strengthens the child-parent relationship and improves the success of healthy changes.

Kids N Fitness meets 6-7:30 p.m. Mondays through May 16 (no class on April 4) at Tanner Medical Center, Classroom 2, 705 Dixie St., Carrollton, Ga. 30117. Classes began March 28, but families can still join if there are openings.

The program consists of an orientation and six, 90-minute sessions. Each session includes nutrition education, a support session for parents, physical activity, goal setting, a healthy snack and a take-home gift.

The healthy lifestyle program is free for ages 8-16 and their parents. The class size is limited to 20. When registering, please specify the number of family members attending. You can register online.

For more information, contact Schoerner at