Family Health Camp

Both kids and parents learn how fun and rewarding a healthy lifestyle can be in Pritikin's Family Health Camp, now in its 16th year.

Some children come for weight loss. Others have no weight issues. All enjoy a fun camp-like atmosphere.

Each day in Pritikin’s Family Health Camp, the kids whoop and holler their way through drum-thumping “Cardiac Rap” aerobic workouts, strength training called “Pump ‘Em Up,” kid-friendly nutrition and cooking classes, and afternoons filled with swimming, golf, volleyball, and tennis.

They also enjoy tasty, healthy snacks and meals like chewy potato skins, icy fruit smoothies, salsa-bean burritos, chicken pasta primavera, and chocolate mousse.

Meanwhile, parents receive the full benefit of the traditional, for-adults Pritikin Health and Weight-Loss Program. Many also attend workshops on motivating their kids to make healthy choices.

Science-Based

In peer-reviewed studies on children in the Pritikin Family Health Camp (see citations at end of article), scientists at UCLA found that in just two weeks the children:

  • Shed on average 9 pounds (among children needing to lose weight)
  • Decreased LDL bad cholesterol 25% and total cholesterol 23%
  • Lowered triglyceride fats 39%
  • Reduced key markers of inflammation
  • Eliminated the Metabolic Syndrome (a pre-diabetic condition)

“I learned a lot…”

“I learned a lot at Pritikin,” says Colin, 15, who lost 45 pounds within nine months after leaving Pritikin and watched his chronically high blood pressure fall into normal, healthy ranges.

This Indiana teenager is a runner, basketball player, and weight lifter, “but I learned at Pritikin that what you eat matters a lot more than how much you exercise.” He fills his day with good food, like breakfasts that begin with bananas and Subway sandwiches at lunch that are packed with all kinds of fresh veggies. “It’s second nature to me now. I like what I eat.

“I also learned at Pritikin that even if I’ve have a bad day of eating, I can get right back into a healthy eating pattern the next day. I no longer have an ‘all or nothing’ mindset where I was ridiculously strict, eating no more than 1,200 calories a day, then I’d crash and eat a whole pizza, then hate myself. It’s great to be free of that mindset.”

Total Immersion In Healthy Living… And A Lot Of Fun

To teach children healthy habits, the entire family needs to be involved, insists every major pediatric health organization. Family immersion in healthy living is what the Pritikin Family Health Camp is all about, and it’s taught by nationally renowned physicians, dietitians, and exercise physiologists.

More important (as far as the kids are concerned) is that the program’s just a whole lot of fun. Each day, the children get movin’ while participating in fun activities both indoors and outdoors! They’ll enjoy kayaking, hiking, playing tennis and basketball in the fresh air, and when it really heats up, can go inside and keep moving with dance classes as well as strength training, music-charged aerobic workouts, or better yet, go for a dip in either our outdoor or indoor pool!

The cooking classes get high marks, too. The kids make – and get a big kick out of sampling – tasty snacks, soups, sorbets, pastas, crepes, cookies, and Mexican-style beans and tortillas.

In kid-friendly nutrition classes taught by Pritikin’s dietitians, the children are exposed to some real eye-openers, like the number of teaspoons of sugar (more than 10!) in a can of Coke, and how smooth-skinned arteries can turn “gross with cholesterol boils” after years of eating the wrong foods.

Meanwhile, parents are fully involved in the for-adults Pritikin Health and Weight-Loss Program, which also includes family-focused workshops, such as planning menus with your kids, handling picky eaters and junk food lovers, and fitting fitness fun into everyday family life.

 

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