KIDS’ FANS Program Building Healthy Families Together
For the 12th consecutive year, Stamford Health is at the forefront of Connecticut’s largest health expo—the 12th Annual Health Wellness & Lifestyle Expo 2023. As the Exclusive Healthcare Partner at the event on September 9, Stamford Health continues to educate the public through its many free services performed on site, as well as shedding a light on its numerous educational programs available to the general public. One such educational component is Stamford Health’s KIDS’ Fitness and Nutrition Services (FANS) program.
Under the direction of Ilaria St. Florian, MS, RD, who has a master’s degree in nutrition education from Columbia University and is a registered dietitian-nutritionist, KIDS’ FANS is a pediatric nutrition education program that promotes childhood wellness, obesity prevention and physical activity. KIDS’ FANS’ curriculum empowers children and adolescents to make healthy behavioral changes by providing the tools and skills needed to navigate their food and exercise environments.
“2023 marks the ninth year that KIDS’ FANS’ registered dietitians have been providing nutrition education classes in Stamford’s public elementary schools as part of their year-long health curriculum,” says St. Florian. “Classes are interactive and provide age-appropriate practical tips and know-how to guide kids towards healthy eating and increased physical activity. During the summer months, KIDS’ FANS teams up with local summer camps, such as the YMCA, Stamford Recreation and Mill River Park, to include nutrition-based activities and games that offer hands-on visual and interactive learning. With the rise in obesity, this type of program is key in helping children take an active role in caring for their bodies.”
Studies show that children who are well-nourished and participate in regular physical activity are more focused in school and perform better academically, are less likely to be absent, exhibit fewer behavioral problems and have increased self-esteem. However, statistics from hhs.gov show that children aged 2-18 consume on average 40 percent of their total daily calories from foods that are high in sugar and fat and low in nutritional value. Children also spend more than seven-and-a-half hours a day in front of a screen (TV, videogame, computer, phone) and only one in three children are physically active every day.
Community outreach is an integral part of KIDS’ FANS’ role in promoting healthy eating and physical activity and its presence at local health fairs, including the Health Wellness & Lifestyle Expo, and presentations to community partners are integral to the growth of the program and its ability to communicate its message and offerings. In accordance with the Connecticut state-mandated health curriculum and supported by studies that show the correlation between student health and academic achievement, KIDS’ FANS hopes to fill the gap in schools, as well as in the community, by increasing awareness and improving health behaviors for students and their families.
The 12th Annual Health Wellness & Lifestyle Expo 2023 is thrilled to showcase Stamford Health’s KIDS’ FANS program in addition to over 120 exhibitors showcasing, educating and selling health and wellness products and services. Attendees can also look forward to a robust schedule of free and spirited fitness classes led by the area’s top fitness instructors.
For the most up-to-date list of participants and event activities and offerings, visit HWL-Expos.com. Location: Harbor Point Boardwalk, 1 Harbor Point Rd, Stamford. See ad, back cover.
The 112h Annual Health Wellness & Lifestyle Expo 2023, with special thanks to Stamford Health, Exclusive Healthcare Partner, will be returning to beautiful Harbor Point at the boardwa... Read More »