Healthy Kids Program

Comprehensive Weight Management Program

Our goal is to empower children and families with the knowledge that they need to take a self-directed approach to healthy eating and exercise. The program is designed for children ages 8-12.


The program:

  • Teaches children and their parents to modify meal plans without depriving them of food choices
  • Incorporates physical activities into daily lives
  • Identifies and helps children deal with feelings about weight and body image
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Enhances communication skills

Parental Involvement

Parental involvement in the program is imperative. In addition to learning how to improve parenting and communication skills, parents are taught how to support their child’s weight-loss and health enhancement efforts by improving family eating habits and activity patterns.

The Team

The Healthy KIDS team has experience and expertise in assisting children and their families to achieve a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and physical activity. The Healthy KIDS Program Team includes:

  • Board-Certified Pediatric Endocrinologists
  • Nurses with advanced training in pediatric Endocrinology
  • Certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN)
  • Social Worker
  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist


  • Evaluation by a Pediatric Endocrinologist
  • Counseling and nutrition evaluations by a registered dietitian nutritionist
  • Individual and age-appropriate group counseling sessions which foster group cohesiveness and successful outcomes
  • Meal planning instruction
  • Individualized exercise programs
  • Opportunities to explore feelings and behaviors associated with weight and body image

Prior to beginning participation in group sessions, each family is evaluated by a Pediatric Endocrinologist to screen for complications of obesity, and to evaluate their eligibility for participation in the group session. Medical clearance to attend the program and perform physical exercise is required from the child’s pediatrician, as is a consent signed by a parent.

Group, Individual, & Follow-up Sessions

  • Group sessions – for children and parents – are formatted into a 10-week series. Each weekly session, conducted by a certified instructor, lasts 2 hours. Each participant must be accompanied by a parent.
  • Gaming activities and effective weight management techniques, including nutritional guidance, exercise and behavior modification strategies create a communal and supportive “Iearning-is-fun” environment that provides a forum for participants to manage their weight and build healthier lives.
  • Participants are grouped by age.
  • Private family sessions with the registered dietitian nutritionist may be arranged.
  • Follow-up sessions are offered for a full year following participation. Winthrop’s Department of Pediatrics is a member of the prestigious National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI).

For more information, contact Laura Pokorny at (516) 663-9626.