SMArt Kids: Sharing ideas on managing weight

| Posted On Oct 06, 2011 | By:

What a way to kick-start our SMArt Kids Shared Medical Appointment (SMA) after a summer hiatus!  At our recent September 20th SMA, we had many new SMArt Kids plus a great showing of recent graduates.  The returning participants reported on their summer successes and did a great job showing our new participants the ropes.  We also reviewed our objectives for 2011-12:

I am very excited about our SMArt Kids series, as it fills a gap for many families struggling with healthy lifestyle choices.  In the shared medical appointment setting, we can offer the added benefit of collaboration among families; something that is unique and hopefully productive for everyone in attendance. During our September 20th session, both kids and parents alike were engaged and participatory in the ninety minute shared medical appointment. Linda Germaine-Miller, our nutritionist, and I were impressed with both parent and child involvement, especially given it was our first meeting as a group. 

September wasn’t only the start of school and our SMA, it also happened to be Child Obesity Awareness Month. See the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) website for more information. Check out the family portal for tips on healthy eating and ways to stay active. The AAP echoes some of our own SMArt Kids’ goals. For example, this is one of their helpful fact sheet for families:

Despite the increased awareness about childhood obesity, it still can be a difficult topic to discuss. Fortunately in the SMArt Kids SMA, the conversation has been started, but for those of you at home, it can be daunting. Some of you may be wondering how to approach your child about his or her weight. A recent study stated that almost 25% of parents surveyed feel that weight is the single most uncomfortable thing to talk about with their own children. See Channel 5’s recent report at for more details.

Whatever you do, don’t fret! There are ways to bring up this difficult topic at home.  Channel 5’s report offered some great tips, such as remembering to frame your concerns in terms of being healthy rather than in terms of being ‘fat’ or ‘thin’. Consider using words like strong and healthy. Talk about healthful food choices and avoid terms like diet, fat, and calories.  Most importantly, be a good role model.

So to everyone: keep the conversation going and more importantly, keep up the hard work with achieving the SMArt Kids goals.  To our SMArt Kids, we are looking forward to reconvening in October for our next SMA session.

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About Dr. Brittanny Boulanger

Joined Harvard Vanguard: 2005 Undergraduate School: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA Internship: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Residency: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Board Certification: Pediatrics Hospital Affiliations: Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; Winchester Hospital, Winchester, MA Clinical Interests: Newborn medicine and adolescent medicine Personal Interests: Running, soccer, hiking, skiing, travel and spending time with her two young children.

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