At the informational sessions, families will be screened to determine eligibility for the program.
Once a family is approved and wants to participate, there will be 12 sessions on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. beginning March 3. Once the 12 sessions are complete, Betts said there will be follow-up for the participants.
“Each week will have a focus on lifestyle, nutrition, activities,” Betts said. “It will be fun. The whole purpose of this program is to give families the opportunity, number one, to have something to be able to do together. Number two, while together having fun, they’re learning how to make better lifestyle choices.”
Programs such as Building Healthy Families are geared to help children who may be at risk for future issues such as diabetes or orthopedic problems if they do not get their weight in check early.
“They could end up with heart disease in the long run,” Betts said. “Everything is connected, and if you learn how to be healthy as a child and you have healthy habits, then you’re less likely to develop those co-morbidities as an adult.
“Sometimes, families or parents just don’t know how to begin to make healthy choices. This program is not designed to slap anybody on the wrist and say, ‘You don’t eat right.’ It is designed to give them guidance, give them resources, teach them how to find things they can afford, first, but also things that are healthy for you.”