Healthy Kids, Healthy Families

This program empowers youth, with the help of their families, to learn about nutrition and fitness while living a healthier lifestyle.

Childhood Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. More than one third of children and teenagers ages two to 19 are obese or overweight, and that rate has tripled in the past 30 years. Childhood obesity can have a harmful effect on the body in several ways, putting children at high risk to develop cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, joint problems, heartburn, and social and psychological problems. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults, leading to more serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

In response to this critical health care issue, Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) aims to create a safe, fun, and active environment for children ages seven to 13 and their family to explore and adopt proven methods to living a healthier lifestyle. This family-based lifestyle change program teaches participants how the home environment and other factors influence choices that lead to a healthy weight with an emphasis on behavior changes to support healthy eating and physical activity. This program is generously supported by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.


Through the leadership of trained Y staff, this 12-week program engages families so that, together, they can understand how the home environment and other factors influence choices that lead to a healthy weight. The program is structured with sessions occurring twice per week. Each session includes learning time and physical activity. The program sessions will run on Tuesday 5:30-7:00pm and Friday 5:30-6:30pm at the SwedishAmerican Riverfront YMCA. An adult member of the household is required to attend and participate in all sessions with the child or children enrolled in the program.

Youth must meet the following criteria to qualify to participate in the program:
  • The child must be 7 to 13 years old at the start of a group class
  • The child must carry excess weight or be at risk for obesity
  • The child must receive clearance from a healthcare provider or school nurse to participate in physical activity
  • An adult MUST attend all sessions with the child


Evidence shows that child weight-management programs are more effective when the whole family is involved and committed to adopting healthier habits. For this reason, the program is designed so that parent/caregiver attendance is required at all sessions.


  • Healthy Eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Portion Control
  • Internal & External Triggers
  • Food Label Reading
  • Goal Setting & Rewards


Whether you're a parent wanting to learn more or enroll your child, or you're a physician interested in referring a patient, please contact:

Mya Williams, Evidence-Based Health Interventions Coordinator