How to promote healthy eating habits in your children.

Healthy eating and physical activity habits are key to your child's well-being. Eating too much and exercising too little can lead to childhood obesity resulting in excess weight and related health problems that can follow children into their adult years. You can take an active role in helping your child— and your whole family— develop healthy eating and physical activity habits that can last for a lifetime. Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Children’s have resources available to parents and kids to keep them healthy, including specialists, community and school based programs, and information to help you make healthy choices at meal time.



BeWell Kids Clinic

Bringing together a comprehensive team of physicians, researchers and healthcare professionals with expert knowledge in childhood obesity, the BeWell Kids Clinic works with children and their families to develop strategies and create plans for a healthy lifestyle change.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with the BeWell Kids Clinic team, please call 216.444.KIDS (5437).

Fit Youth

The Fit Youth Program is a 12-week family weight management program for children ages 7-16 who are serious about weight control and combating childhood obesity. Our program is designed to help parents and children embrace healthier eating habits, improve fitness and better manage stress. To learn more, visit: clevelandclinicchildrens.org/fityouth, or call 440.695.4406.

Healthy Living SMA (Shared Medical Appointment)

  • Shared Medical Appointments, or SMAs, offer an innovative, interactive approach to healthcare, that combines the traditional one-on-one medical appointment with a chance to participate in a shared appointment led by a healthcare professional. SMAs bring together patients with common health needs.
  • Our Children’s Healthy Living SMA treats children with excess weight, and provides excellent care in managing medical problems associated with being overweight. This SMA brings together up to 10 patients with a comprehensive team of healthcare providers whose expertise focuses on childhood weight management. We will work with your child to develop strategies to make healthy lifestyle changes. Patients learn from our team, and each other, in an environment that encourages asking questions and sharing.
  • Our SMAs are currently held at the Lorain Family Health and Surgery Center, and the Elyria Health and Surgery Center. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 440.204.7400.

Healthy Strides for Kids

  • Healthy Strides for Kids combines exercise and learning in a fun environment. During the warmer months, we meet at Ed Walsh Park in Mentor, and during the colder months we meet at Mentor Heisley Racquet & Fitness Club. Events take place on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. and consist of a walk/run, preceded by a brief informative talk by Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatrician, Randall Huff, DO, and other caregivers. Some topics addressed include better nutrition, increased exercise, and respecting your body.
  • The events are open to all children ages 9 - 14 and their parents and are FREE to attend. No registration is required.
  • For more information please call, 216.312.5460 or email Jameysj@ccf.org.


5 to Go

Working with the local community and schools on public health programs:

Food is Knowledge:

For children enrolled in early childhood centers through 1st grades, this program teaches children about healthy eating in a fun way through science, language arts, math, culture and hospitality. For more information, go to clevelandclinic.org/5togo.

Healthy Futures

Designed for children in 4th through 6th grades, this 12-week school-based program is designed to teach kids how to make healthier food choices through the interconnectedness between the mind, body, and spirit. For more information, go to clevelandclinic.org/5togo.


Cleveland Clinic and the First Ring Superintendents’ Collaborative (FRSC) partnered in 2008 to examine childhood obesity rates in Northeast Ohio. During the 2013-2014 school year, 14,016 children in kindergarten, third, fifth, and ninth grades were screened for Body Mass Index (BMI) in 16 Cleveland-area suburban, public school districts. The research found that 16.0% of students were overweight and 18.6% of students were obese. While obesity rates have remained stagnant over the past five years, decreases were noted for students in the fifth grade.