Healthy City Kids (HCK) at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP-WCMC) is a healthy lifestyles and obesity prevention program for children and families of pre-school aged children. Our program is delivered in partnership with Lenox Hill Neighborhood House (LHNH), which houses a Head Start program in a settlement house community center.
The Healthy City Kids curriculum, which was developed by a team of pediatricians and a pediatric nutritionist at NYP-WCMC with parent input, consists of six weekly interactive sessions taught to parents or caregiver participants of the enrolled pre-school children. The six sessions are offered three times a year and consist of 45 minutes of nutrition education and 15 minutes of physical activity.
Weekly sessions are taught by pediatricians, pediatric medical residents, and a Registered Dietitian from the Hospital. Parents learn about healthy eating practices and fun, age-appropriate physical activities that can be implemented at home. Each class includes nutrition learning sessions, a healthy snack, culturally adapted recipes, take-home activities for the families, and a review of the previous week's family activities. The program also utilizes an evidence-based physical activity program for preschoolers called "Animal Trackers," which gives families age-appropriate physical activities to use at home. Parents also participate in these activities during the sessions and are encouraged to try them for at least 20 minutes three times a week at home.
We recently received a 2014-2015 Champions for Healthy Kids grant from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to expand Healthy City Kids into East Harlem. Starting in the Fall 2014 school year, we will be collaborating with the Northside Center Susan Patricof Head Start Center to deliver the program to East Harlem parents. We are excited about using the Champions for Healthy Kids grant to influence East Harlem Head Start preschoolers and their parents to make healthier nutrition and physical activity decisions by engaging them with culturally-relevant information and tools.