Are you worried about your children’s health, but don’t know how to help and encourage them to live a healthier lifestyle?
Leaders on Fort Bragg understand the importance of children’s health, which is why Operation Kid Fit is specially designed to equip parents with tools to give their children the best life possible.
“Operation Kid Fit is a free, positive parenting program for parents of children between the ages of 4 and 11, who are struggling to maintain a healthy weight. OKF implements the standard curriculum of the Lifestyle Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) with some modifications to meet the specific needs of the military population,” said Paula Moore, Operation Kid Fit facilitator.
Fort Bragg has a total of 11.6 percent of children, ages 2 to 19, classified as obese, based on information from Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application. Though this is slightly lower than the civilian population of about 17 percent of 2 to 19 year olds, this is still a significant issue at Fort Bragg. An additional 13.1 percent of the same group of children are classified as overweight, putting them at a greater risk for becoming obese.
“OKF (Operation Kid Fit) is a class specifically for parents and children who do not attend the class sessions. Parents attend the 10, small group sessions with the facilitator and then implement what they have learned in class at home with their Families,” Moore said.
There will be a body mass index screening with each child before and after the program to record their progress.
Through the program, parents will learn that they can be the agents of change in their Family and effective strategies to modify their child’s behavior regarding nutrition and physical activity. Parents will also learn basic nutrition and physical activity information such as healthy recipes, indoor physical activities and strategies for dealing with picky eating.
“It is possible that providing information, strategies and resources to parents will affect their eating habits and physical activity levels as well, but to date, this research has not been conducted,” said Moore.
“This is an excellent opportunity to meet with other parents like themselves to learn strategies to make a healthy change in their child’s life. They will learn how to make lifestyle changes for their child by increasing their physical activity, and using incentives to help their child make better, health-related choices for themselves,” she added.
By laying a foundation now with healthy eating habits and affective work-outs, children will be better prepared to succeed.
“In a randomized clinical control trial, Lifestyle Triple P was shown to reduce child BMI, reduce coercive parenting behaviors and increase parental confidence in dealing with problem behaviors and maintain these changes past one year.
“So, we can say with some level of confidence that this program will really work,” said Moore.
The program is set to begin this summer and will run until January 2015.