At a recent launch of the new website Web MD Fit Kids, a new national initiative aimed at promoting health and wellness and preventing childhood obesity among kids ages 2-18, I was shocked to learn that the number one thing parents are terrified to talk to their children about is their weight. This was over talking about drugs, smoking and even sex. And the reason for this, according to a new '??Raising Fit Kids'? survey conducted by Fit, a partnership between WebMD and Sanford Health, is that parents feel uncomfortable talking about weight - thinking that it will trigger an eating disorder. However, doctor's believe that this talk is the most important conversation parents should have with their kids. But the reality is approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of youth aged 2-19 years obese and children who are obese between the ages of 10 and 13 have an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult - making this talk a critical and an important one to have with our children.
So what's the solution? At the launch, panelists including Dr. Hansa Bhargava, Dr. Michael Bergeron, Dr. Susan Bartell and Dr. Dan Kirschenbaum noted that parents need the tools to talk about weight as well as techniques to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into their lifestyles. One innovative and fun tool for both parents and adults is the interactive Web MD Fit Kids website (www.fit.webmd.com) where families can learn more about food (nutritional fitness); move (physical fitness); mood (emotional fitness); and recharge (restorative fitness). This national initiative is also the first initiative solely devoted to children'??s health and based on the latest scientific and behavioral research on childhood obesity risk.
As a website developed for kids, Fit Kids is devised into three segments - Fit Juniors (ages 2-7), Fit Kids (ages 8-12), and Fit Teens (ages 13-18). Through each of the segments, all of which are tailored to the interests and needs of the categorized age groups, kids can play games, take fun quizzes, read articles, and watch videos - all while learning about health and fitness. I tested out the Fit Juniors (ages 2-7) section with my daughter and she really enjoyed the 'Find the Fruits and Veggies Game' where we had to search for a list of veggies in a scenic forest. Even though veggie eating is in an issue in our home, I loved that she got excited with the game and started asking questions about vegetables she wasn't used to. Since we also like to cook together, I really loved the Kids' Recipe section that featured video recipes for breakfast, traditional recipes like a healthy trial mix, activities like making a silly face out of food, and stories where kids have to help a character find a healthy snack. This section also includes healthy food and exercise videos fromSesame Streetas well as a sticker certification center where kids can make their own designs.
On Fit Kids(ages 8-12), older kids will find the same four categories (food, move, mood and recharge) but they will also daily tips like "Put on your favorite music, and dance for 30 minutes" or "Don't have drinks with caffeine like tea, soda, coffee drinks, or energy drinks." This section also includes a more articles like 'how to banish worries' as well as sections for kids to understand their BMI and a weight handbook where kids can watch videos, view slideshows, and read articles to learn more about maintaining a healthy weight.
The Fit Teens (ages 13-18) section also included articles, videos and tips through its four categories but the tone and the graphics are appropriately catered to an older audience. Through this section, teens can 'clock in' on their sleep time to get a targeted 8.5 hours of sleep, rate their mood and learn ways to get their heart pumping. They can also design a personal look to their Fit Teens page - choosing different colors, graphics, and avatars.
Through this interactive and informative website parents and their kids will not only discover a fun platform where they can learn more about nutrition and exercise but also a place to learn more about health through emotional fitness, restorative fitness and scientific research. Through this site, parents will be provided with the tools and information on how to life better as well as obtain the insight on why certain lifestyle changes are so important for themselves and their children.
For additional information, please visit: http://fit.webmd.com/
Parents can also go to Raising Fit Kids to learn more become more about creating a healthy household for their kids.
Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given a gift bag at the launch.