"We're looking at doing this through nutrition, behavior and exercise," said Kari Holden a physical therapist at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center. "This is designed for both kids and their parents � the parents will be involved in the program also."
Organizers of the program emphasize that it is designed to help family make positive lifestyle choices in a day and age of hectic schedules and instant, fat-filled meals.
"Things are quicker and easier, and with that, they are more fattening and not as healthy," Holden said. "I work in the health care field, and I think I will learn so much from this program, for my kids and for my family � I think it will be a good, rounded program for everybody."
The cost of the program is $25, and scholarships are available. Children and their parents will meet nine consecutive Thursdays, from January 26 to March 23, at various settings in Vermillion. Meeting times will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Parents and their children will receive information from a variety of local health care professionals and discuss a wide range of health care topics.
Young people will then have a chance to get out of the classroom and take part in fun activities at the DakotaDome from 6 to 6:30 p.m.
The cost of the program will include an eight-week membership to Dakota- Dome for participating families.
Dr. Matthew Krell, a Vermillion pediatrician, approached health care experts at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center and suggested they begin this program.
"I am very excited to have a wellness program directed towards kids and adolescents beginning in Vermil- lion," said Dr. Matthew Krell, a Vermillion pediatrician. "Obesity rates have approached one in every six kids in the U.S. Unfor-tunately, Vermillion has not escaped this epidemic.
"However, the earlier we can make interventions in children and adolescent lifestyles, the less likely weight will be an issue later in life," Dr. Krell said. "These programs are showing up in many metropolitan areas, and Vermillion is fortunate to have the Family, Fun and Fitness Program starting this winter."
"One of my goals is to teach kids that exercise doesn't mean running 10 miles, or biking for a long distance," Holden said. "We'll give them a winter boredom kit; we'll give them crafts; we'll let them stand up and draw on a wall ? we'll give them options that will help them stay active."
The wellness program is scheduled to begin Jan. 26 with pre-screening. There is no strict registration deadline for local families to sign up for activities. They may register by calling Holden at (605) 638-8330.
Classes will be held in both the DakotaDome, and in a second floor meeting room at Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospital.
Program topics include:
- Jan. 26 � Pre-screen.
- Feb. 2 � Balancing act ? (plate method, portion sizes � meeting at SVVMC).
- Feb. 9 � Exercise fun at the DakotaDome.
- Feb. 16 � Check it out (reading labels, grocery list, menu planning � meeting at SVVMC).
- Feb. 23 � Exercise and your heart at the Dakota- Dome.
- March 2 � Snack attack and eating fast (snack and fast food � meeting at SVVMC).
- March 9 � Choice ingredients (behavior choices, family meal planning).
- March 16 � Post-testing.
- March 23 � Support group discussion and dinner.
Mary Auch, a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center, said a large part of her input to the program will be speaking to parents on how they structure the home environment of family meal times.
"We want to make sure that parents understand their role in providing the right food," she said, "and the children's job is to regulate their own appetites. Our goal is to really help promote a good structure in families concerning healthy eating."