Healthy living, eating right and proper hygiene — teaching these skills to young people can’t just be left up to our schools, said pediatrician Dr. Katie McMurray.
In an effort to expand knowledge and support of healthy lifestyles for young people, McMurray is hosting Healthy Learning Families Camp, which opens July 17.
“The best people to help children are their doctors, and it shouldn’t just be at their wellness exams,” she said. “I feel as doctors, we need to do more to get this information out.”
The camp, from noon to 12:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday for two weeks starting July 17, is open to kindergarten and preschool-aged children and their parents who are interested in learning preventive care and healthy habits in a fun and entertaining 45-minute, hands-on class.
“If we can impact just one child’s life by improving their overall health, then this is one less adult who may have complications from obesity and one less adult utilizing the health care system for chronic illnesses that could have been prevented early on in their lives,” McMurray said. “Also, one child at the school lunch table eating vegetables can lead to another child wanting vegetables and so on, and this is the power of positive peer pressure.”
McMurray recently joined UCHealth Pediatrics – Carbon Valley, in Firestone, and has been trained to teach the Healthy Learning Paths curriculum, which the camp follows.
“We never teach what not to do, as this is a negative approach, but more about what we should do for our bodies to stay healthy because being healthy means you are happy, and this is the overall theme of these Healthy Learning Path lessons,” she said.
“I also enjoy during my lessons to talk more about the human body and the medicine behind what we recommend, such as why we need to drink water, why we eat healthy fats and why our bodies need sleep. It’s amazing what even young children can remember and take away. And the parents walk away with new ways to approach healthy habits with their children, and we give parents activities to do with their kids at home to reinforce the topics discussed.”
The camp is held in the conference room off the UCHealth Carbon Valley Health Center waiting area. It is free, and the schedule is as follows:
- Monday, July 17: Wonderful Water. Water’s power over sugary drinks.
- Tuesday, July 18: Germbusters. Beat summer viruses.
- Wednesday, July 19: Peppy Peppers. Perfect for picky eaters.
- Thursday, July 20: Tickle Your Teeth. Habits for healthy teeth and happy smiles.
- Monday, July 24: Muscle Magic. Foods to build magnificent muscles.
- Tuesday, July 25: Let’s Dream. Sleep routines for pleasant dreams.
- Wednesday, July 26: Ava the Avocado. Awesome healthy fats snacks.
- Thursday, July 27: Let’s Play. Play for healthy hearts and happy brains.
“It’s our job to promote health in our families,” McMurray said about her clinic’s philosophy. “As physicians, we have an obligation to not only treat illnesses but to prevent them and encourage children and families to take control of their own health.”
The online sign up for the camp is at healthylearningpaths.org and click on “Healthy Learning Camps” at the top.