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Healthy Kids Program for healthy choices

27 May 2021

Clinicians Deb Sutton (psychologist) and Roisin Rafferty (dietitian) with the backpacks and water bottles that are given to each Healthy Kids Program participant.

An innovative new program is helping young people to make better choices when it comes to nutrition and healthy eating choices.

The Healthy Kids Program, a joint initiative of the Darling Downs Health Children’s Health and Nutrition and Dietetics teams, debuted at the start of 2021. Positions are now open for a second group of participants to start in early July.

“The program was designed to help young people who are overweight or obese and give them the tools to make healthier choices,” said Roisin Rafferty, a Darling Downs Health dietitian based at Toowoomba Hospital.

“It’s a five-month program based around group and individual education sessions where participants learn about things including the importance of physical activity and fun ideas on how to be more physically active; nutrition and meal plans for nourishment and growth; how to pack a lunchbox; mindfulness; healthy sleep habits; strategies for success; and how to manage screen time.

“We have a team of dietitians, exercise physiologists, psychologists and child health nurses who run the program and help our participants get as much out of it as they can.”

Ms Rafferty said the program was available to young people aged between two and 17 years, with applications open now.

“Our next program starts on 1 July so for parents or care givers who think it could be of benefit for their child, it’s a great time to look at getting involved,” she said.

“To apply to join the program all you need is a referral from a GP or any other health professional.

“They can submit that referral via Queensland Health’s Smart referrals webpage, or letters or referral forms can be sent to Nutrition and Dietetics at Toowoomba Hospital.

“Sessions will be held after school at our Child and Family Health Community Centre at 298 Ruthven Street, with one group session and one individual session with a dietitian per month.

“Group sessions will be held in the first week of July, August, September, October and November, with groups made up of participants of similar ages.”

For more information please call the Darling Downs Health Paediatric Allied Health Department on 4616 5049.

Last updated: 28 May 2021