About six months ago I discovered a great book at our local library. Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N. Kids is a book that covers a total health program for children from 6-12. It covers lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition. The book is unassuming, but it is packed with information. It covers information on how children become overfat, underfit, and unhappy. The Lean Kids program helps your child get into a good hormonal balance. The program begins by having you determine the health of your child by looking at growth charts, BMI charts, the overall picture, fitness level, and risk factors. Based on how your child’s results Dr. Sears recommends three different programs using his book. One involves a drastic change, one is more of a middle-of-the-road approach, one one will have you making slight changes to your child’s lifestyle.
This isn’t a weight loss program. For kids who are overweight Dr. Sears recommends a no weight gain approach so the child will grow leaner as they grow taller. It shows you how to change your lifestyle and gives tips regarding screen time, eating out, and snacking. This book also contains a whole section on exercise. He gives information on engaging your child in active play everyday as well as specific activities designed to improve flexibility and strength. Aerobic sports are also part of the program. This book would work well as a thorough PE program for a homeschooler who has children in team sports activities. If your children are not in team sport activities your child can still engage in aerobic activity at home.
Attitude and nutrition are also part of the program. Dr. Sears helps you teach your child to have a positive outlook and good self-image. The nutrition section of this book will have you eating healthier and including whole grains, healthier snacks, more fruit and vegetables, and even organic food.
I’ve implemented parts of Dr. Sears’ L.E.A.N. Kids for the last few months and I’ve noticed positive changes in the health of my children. While I will probably never enjoy whole wheat pasta, I’ve come to appreciate the change. My children didn’t even seem to notice when healthier options were on their plate. They took changes in their activity level in stride. I plan to fully implement this program this coming school year. Dr. Sears’ books have always been a helpful resource. I was happy to find one that covered exercise and health issues so thoroughly.