hEALTH AND NUTRITION EDUCATION SERVICES for FAMILIEs / childcare providers / ECE / healthcare providers 


Back in Whack for Kids is an evidence-based, multicomponent pediatric weight management program. There four program components, each of which has been substantiated by research to be an essential part of an effective pediatric weight management program.  Back in Whack for Kids utilizes evidence-based interventions to implement each program component.

The Nutrition Component
The nutrition component of the Back in Whack for Kids program is comprised of two parts – an individualized nutrition prescription that promotes an energy deficit and nutrition education that is tailored to the nutrition plan. This combination increases effectiveness of the nutrition education and improves compliance with the nutrition plan.   Research has validated that this type of nutritional intervention is an effective and essential component of a successful multicomponent weight management program for children 1, 29.

A. The Individualized Nutrition Plan:

  1. Utilizes current dietary guidelines and reference standards 1, 17, 37;
  2. Provides a balanced diet with a variety of healthy food choices 4, 20;
  3. Provides a diet tailored to the child’s specific age and gender using caloric intake guidelines to meet the energy needs of a sedentary child 19, 33, 37;
  4. Provides an energy deficit 1, 4,25 when the child complies with the program’s recommended physical activity prescription;
  5. Is written in a format that lists number of servings and serving size descriptions 1, 4;
  6. Provides a list of healthy “whole” foods for each food group 25;
  7. Recommends that all grains be whole grains 3, 17, 25, 37. Most whole grains have a low glycemic load. Low glycemic load foods promote weight loss 1, 9, 18;
  8. Supports eating habits that promote a healthy weight as follows:
  • Encourages an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables 1, 4, 25, 37;

  • Encourages an adequate intake of dairy and foods with calcium 1, 4, 37;

  • Limits or excludes the intake of sugary beverages and large quantities of fruit juice 1, 4, 6, 12, 15, 19, 30;

  • Decreases energy dense foods in the diet 1, 3, 4; and

  • Limits the intake of high fat foods 1, 4, 30. NIH recommends that obese children limit fat intake to 30% of their total daily caloric intake 25.

Click HEREto read more about key habits the contribute to the development of high BMIs in youth.

B. Nutrition Education which teaches parents and children the following key points about how nutrition supports health while it explains the    

    nutrition plan:

  1. Food groups, kinds of macronutrients in each food group, and why the body needs all kinds of macronutrients 20;
  2. Healthy “whole” foods in each food group 17, 34;
  3. Appropriate serving sizes 1, 4, 17, 31;
  4. Important information on food label;
  5.  Identify whole foods and understand that most whole foods provide slow-release energy (low glycemic load) and fiber, which are positively associated with attainment of and maintenance of a healthy weight 2, 9;
  6. Identify refined foods and understand they typically provide quick-release energy (high glycemic load), are deficient in fiber, minerals, vitamins, and promote weight gain 17;
  7. The nutrition plan is to be used as a guide for healthy eating – the child should not be expected to rigidly adhere to the nutrition plan 16; and
  8. The nutrition plan not only helps get a child’s energy balance back in whack, but it also supports normal growth and development, healthy brain development and function, good emotional health, and decreases the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer 25, 37