Obesity prevention and nutritional and physical activity counseling are a critical part of the care you provide to all patients. However, through a member needs assessment you told us that you needed more help dialoguing with families of young children about obesity prevention. The HALF project resources were developed to help you!

As part of the HALF project a series of resources were developed for both pediatricians and parents to foster healthy active living (obesity prevention). Resources were informed by a series of focus groups with over 200 parents, an extensive literature review, and a pediatrician survey.

Parent Resources

  • HealthyChildren.org Web Content: Age-appropriate, plain language, strength based, action oriented, and parent informed healthy active living content (categorized by food and feeding, physical activity and parenting tips) was developed for the “Growing Healthy” section of the AAP HealthyChildren web site. The content addresses parent identified barriers and motivators and provides realistic strategies.

What does this mean for you? As a pediatrician you can refer parents to this content at well-visits, via your web site, listservs, and/or other parent communications. Feel confident in knowing that you are sending them to content that is evidence based, consistent with Bright Futures, and presented in a way that reflects parent’s real life concerns, challenges, and priorities and uses language and strategies that resonate with them.

  • Healthychildren.org Interactive Widgets: Parent feedback indicated the desire for information to be personalized and engaging. Two interactive widgets were created to meet this need. The quiz widget is designed to be fun and game-like and helps parents to dispel common myths (i.e. juice is good for you). The “quick tips” widget allows parents to select areas of interest and receive tailored parent-derived healthy active living strategies.

What does this mean for you? These widgets provide easy, trustworthy, and fun options to engage your families in healthy active living beyond their discussions with you at their well visit. Also, see the versions of these widgets that can be embedded into your own practice site under pediatrician resources.

Pediatrician Resources

  • Healthy Active Living For Families Online Physician Implementation Guide: These pages are equipped with content, language and communication tools that you can use in each visit to promote healthy nutrition and activity along with healthy lifestyle changes for families. Information about what we learned from parents, the literature review, and core elements of effective communication with families are highlighted. Also critical to how you provide care, are the HALF Age Recommendations and HALF interactive tools.

What does this mean for you?

  • Visit the Onset of Risk Behavior Timeline for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, to help you prioritize what healthy active living topics to discuss during the 15 scheduled well visits from birth to age 5.
  • Explore the Age-Specific Desired Behavior content to access specific conversation starters, parent concerns, supporting evidence and recommended anticipatory guidance that can enhance your preventative care and engage parents in healthy active living in those critical early years.
  • Discover tips and techniques for effective communication in the Communicating with Families section where you can learn about motivational interviewing, strength-based approaches and the importance of plain language.

HALF Interactive Tools

In addition to creating the Implementation Guide, a number of interactive tools were designed to support pediatricians in providing early obesity prevention messaging and guidance to families. These tools include two interactive and embeddable widgets and the HALF “app.”

What does this mean for you?

  • Learn how to embed the “Quick Tips: Keep Your Child Healthy” widget on your practice web site or refer patients to the one here. This widget allows patients to get tailored, realistic, parent derived, and evidence informed action strategies about areas of healthy active living that are most important to them. Topics include breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, starting solid foods, picky eaters, snack time, routines, physical activity, screen time and sleep.
  • Explore embedding the “Are You Raising a Healthy Child?” quiz widget to your practice web site or refer patients to the one here to dispel some of the common myths around food and feeding, physical activity, and healthy active living and have fun while doing it.
  • Download the HALF “App” (Apple App Store and Google Play Store) which allows the family to identify the top three healthy active living topics which they would like additional action strategies on and allows you to create a personalized handout that can be emailed to the family or printed in your office.

Spanish Content

We reached out to numerous Spanish speaking families and subsequently developed a series of handouts that can be used at the point of care as needed. The handouts include food and feeding, physical activity, and tips for parents action strategies derived from the “Quick Tips: Keep Your Child Healthy” widget.

Baby - Spanish Handout
Toddler - Spanish Handout
Preschool - Spanish Handout

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American Academy of Pediatrics