Motivating and supporting children and their families 

The Randall Children’s Fresh Start Program focuses on motivating kids and their families who are above the 85% in their body mass index to adopt healthier behaviors to lower their risk of diabetes and heart disease. We also utilize Medical Nutrition Therapy, often abbreviated as MNT, which is an evidence-based medical approach to treating certain chronic conditions through the use of an individually-tailored nutrition plan. MNT is a treatment that uses food, nutrition and lifestyle choices to help our young patients achieve health-related goals and learn a healthy lifestyle.  

MNT is usually the first choice in treating a child who has pre-diabetes or elevated lab values related to dietary choices.  

What we treat 

  • Children with an above 85% body mass index 
  • High total cholesterol 
  • High low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 
  • High triglycerides 
  • Elevated liver enzyme 
  • Pre-diabetes

Our program 

Our program consists of a doctor who specializes in endocrinology, dietitian and behavioral specialists.

The Fresh Start Program may include:

  • Medical appointments 
  • Individual appointments with a dietitian 
  • Individual visits with a Social Worker or mental health specialist
  • Group class with other families led by a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Or a series of 4-weekly classes followed by a 3 & 6-month follow up visits with a dietitian

How we can help 

During visits you will learn information on nutrition, exercise, and learning how to prepare and cook easy and healthy meals and snacks.  We aim to help support the whole family in making a fresh start.

As a parent or other caregiver, you can do a lot to help your child reach and maintain a healthy weight. Staying active and consuming healthy foods and beverages are important for your child's well-being. You can take an active role in helping your child—and your whole family—learn habits that may improve health.

Your child will be screened for conditions that may result from a higher body mass index.

Overweight and obese children are also at risk for other complications and may be sent to be screened by a specialist if needed:

  • Bone and joint problems
  • Shortness of breath that makes exercise, sports, or any physical activity more difficult. This also can make asthma symptoms worse or lead kids to develop asthma. Restless sleep or breathing problems at night, such as obstructive sleep apnea
  • Earlier maturity: Overweight kids may be taller and more sexually mature than their peers, raising expectations that they should act as old as they look, not as old as they are. Overweight girls may have irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems in adulthood.
  • Liver and gallbladder disease 

How you can help your child 

If your child’s pediatrician states that your child is overweight here are some ways to discuss it with them in a non-judgmental manner: 

Focusing on the child’s health and the health of the entire families is the best way to start. Parents and caregivers can lead the path to health by changing the family’s lifestyle choices. Approach this as an opportunity for the entire family.  

As a family decide on some changes that everyone can make together. Here are a few ideas to get started: 

  • Choose to not purchase or have in the home any soda, lemonade, sports drinks or other sugared drinks.  Instead, purchase flavored waters, zero calorie sport drinks, have fresh fruit around instead of juices, and have a jug of fresh water in the fridge. 
  • Choose to skip the fast food and eat at home.  Have each family member come up with a dinner and make a list of all needed ingredients before going to the grocery store.
  • Plan a daily family walk or weekly outdoor activity that includes active time such as a hike, a bike ride, going swimming, finding a new park to play at, take time to look online at what is around in your community.
  • Allow all family members to have some say in what changes they feel would be beneficial.
  • What other healthy lifestyle changes can your family come up with to get a Fresh Start? 

Resources for kids and their families

As a parent, you want to be prepared with the best knowledge to support your child and your family. We’ve included some links to resources for you.  

Talking to Kids About Weight
Helping Your Child Who is Overweight

How to choose balanced meals  
Choose My Plate

Food Hero

Food assistance program  
About SNAP

Plate Planner
Tip Sheet

Get Connected & Stay Informed   

MyHealth gives you access to your child's medical records. View test results, diagnoses, medications, follow-up instructions, make an appointment and more.   

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