Healthy Served Family-Style

September 27th, 2016 by Live Well Omaha Kids

During Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Live Well Omaha Kids is spotlighting various organizations and programs which promote physical activity and healthy eating to youth. Today, Audrey Matthews, the Healthier Communities Coordinator for CHI Health talks to us about Healthy Families.

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Healthy Families Participants in Grocery Store

“Working as a family to plan meals and physical activities. I feel like we’re much more vested in being healthy. The shift has moved from weight to energy in/energy out.” –Healthy Families Participant

Having a conversation with your physician about your child’s weight, and ways to improve their weight can be difficult and overwhelming! Luckily, with a referral from your child’s physician, the Healthy Families program is here to help! Healthy Families is a free 8-week program for children and adolescents between the ages of 4 and 18 who have been identified by a physician as overweight and obese. The families of the child are invited to participate as well, to learn ways to improve their health together as a family. Research suggests that helping your child develop healthy habits at an early age, such as eating healthy foods and practicing good sleeping habits, will increase their likelihood to make the healthy choice later on. It is also important for the child to see adults acting as a role model by practicing healthy habits, too.

So, what does participating in the Healthy Families program include? Healthy Families includes fun-filled weekly classes that consist of 30 minutes of a fun physical activity, a healthy and delicious snack, and intriguing lessons that teach families around the following areas:

  • Setting reasonable and informed goals around healthy living as a family
  • Nutritional information and eating healthy in a delicious way
  • Ways to be physically active with your entire family and the health benefits of being active

Families can expect to learn how to navigate a grocery store, read a nutrition label, and integrate physical activity throughout each day, just to name a few. To ensure families have the resources they need to make these healthy changes, three different professionals are available to assist your family in reaching your goals! One of the reasons Healthy Families has been so successful since beginning in 2007 is due to our amazing staff! These professionals include Dieticians, Physical Activity Specialists, and Behavioral Health Specialists who are available at any of the following five Omaha Metro locations where Healthy Families classes are held:

  • North Omaha – Charles Drew Community Health Center & Butler Gast YMCA
  • South Omaha* – One World Community Health Center & Salvation Army Kroc Center
  • West Omaha – CHI Health Lakeside Hospital & Armbrust YMCA
  • Council Bluffs – Hy-Vee Food Store on Broadway & Council Bluffs YMCA
  • Downtown* – Downtown YMCA

    * denotes a Spanish speaking location
Healthy Families participants taking grocery store tour

“I feel I have more information to be successful eating healthier and being more active.” –Healthy Families Participant

As the old saying goes, “it takes a village” to raise a child, which is why the Healthy Families program focuses on working with your entire family. If there are numerous kids in the family, but only one child has been referred by a physician, we still encourage all children in the family to participate in the program. Research suggests that working towards similar goals and learning together as a family increases their likelihood of success. Developing the entire family around making healthy choices also builds a support system that can further increase the family’s likelihood of reaching their goals.

Visit for more information about Healthy Families and to find the location perfect for your family to begin making healthy choices!

Healthy Families funded by CHI Health logo


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