Parent Education

How To: Pick Healthy Meals At Restaurants

You may have discovered that it’s easier to stick to your health goals, like choosing yellow and green light foods, when you eat at home. When you’re in control of the ingredients you choose and how the meal is prepared, you can be more sure of what you’re actually getting (as in, not too many red lights!) But, let’s face it, eating out at restaurants is part of everyday life. Plus, it’s fun to do once in a while, right?

So, how do you pick healthy meals at restaurants, so you don’t get too off track? Here are a few tips to picking healthy meals for your next restaurant order:


Weight Watchers for Teen Boys?

Weight Watchers for teen boys, is this a good idea? There are numerous weight solutions out there, all of which using different strategies, so it’s important to critically analyze which programs will improve a teen boy’s health instead of potentially damaging it. Is it Weight Watchers for teen boys, MyFitness Pal, or Jenny Craig? We first have to note that teens are not mini-adults. The challenges to weight loss that teens face are not the same as those faced by adults, so we should not provide them with adult weight-loss solutions. When addressing a topic as important as weight, finding a solution designed for teens is crucial to their overall health and development.

Teen boys who are turning to food to feel comforted typically find themselves in a negative feedback loop: they eat to feel better, then they look in the mirror or compare themselves to their peers or men in magazines, they feel bad, then eat again to distract themselves from their pain or to feel instant gratification. This cycle can persist into adulthood, but it can be avoided with a straight forward solution: health coaching with coaches trained specifically to work with teens.

Kurbo uses a behavior modification and an accountability program much like Weight Watchers; the difference is that Kurbo’s coaches are experienced to work with teens and the evidence based curriculum is suited for adolescents with an 88% success rate.


Recipe for a Balanced School Lunch

Packing a lunch for school can sometimes feel like more of a chore than a fun task. By planning ahead, organizing a grocery list, and working together, your school lunch can go from dull to delicious! We often think a packed lunch has to automatically be a PB&J sandwich, or a hot lunch from the school cafeteria. Here are some incredibly easy additions to prepare for your lunch away from home!


How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Without Candy

It feels like the holidays were only yesterday, and we are just now getting past all the celebrating, food and treats.  Maybe you have taken the new year as an opportunity to make a fresh start to your health and fitness goals.  And, just like that, another candy and sugar-filled holiday is upon us – Valentine’s Day!  Another day that tempts us with heart-shaped candies that we get with every Valentine at school and chocolate, cookies and cupcakes that we get from our family and friends.

And, while it’s hard to tell from everything we see in the stores and on TV, Valentine’s Day is not really about candy and sugar.  It’s about showing love to the special people in our lives.  This can be done in many, many ways that don’t involve added sugar at all!  Consider these ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day without candy:


What to do if your child is a picky eater

Childhood is an important period in the development of our food preferences. Though our preferences can change into adulthood, it’s important to expose kids to new foods so that they get comfortable expanding their palates.  Taste buds are always changing so a fun fact to remember is that your child needs to try a new food 8 to 12 times before being able to decide whether they truly dislike the food.  Here are our tips on how to get your picky eaters to explore new foods.


Weight Watchers for Kids, Oprah’s Weight Loss, and Your Child

If you are reading this article it is likely you already know all about Weight Watchers and love your child so dearly that you can’t stand the thought of him or her continuing down the challenging road of being overweight into adulthood. You have come to the realization that your child or teen (and maybe you, too) could stand to adopt new habits, beliefs, and tools to manage weight. Weight Watchers may have benefited you, or someone you know, and they helped Oprah lose 40-pounds, which is great, right?

Not exactly. At Kurbo, our goal is to make it so kids don’t grow into adults that need Weight Watchers.  Oprah has a well-documented path of weight control programs.  If you google “diets” and “Oprah”, you will see repeated patterns of 30 pounds lost, and regained.  Over and over again.  We really hope that this time she is able to maintain her weight loss and believe that Weight Watchers did a great job in enabling this.

But what if she had not become overweight in the first place?  What if she had learned good habits as a child, from what to eat, to how to manage stress without binging, to how to work exercise into her daily life? What if her parents had learned healthy recipes that delighted and emotionally sustained her?  What if she and her mom had learned not to fight about her eating habits and to have a healthier food dynamic?

This is our goal at Kurbo.  We want our kids not to need diets because they are so ingrained with healthy lifelong habits that they intuitively know how to take care of themselves and make the right choices.

So what sets successful Kurbo kids apart from other weight loss attempts?

  1. Kurbo is NOT a diet. Kurbo is a program that empowers kids and teens to modify their own behavior.   They learn how to manage a balanced week that includes some indulgences.
  2. There is NO calorie or point counting. Kids and teens learn how to make healthy decisions by using the traffic light food classification system–which divides foods into red (unhealthy), yellow (neutral) and green (healthy). Using this simple and intuitive system based on 30 years of research at Stanford University, it is easy to go to a restaurant, a party or the grocery store and choose the foods that will support healthy bodies or,  knowingly, indulge in the richer foods.
  3.  Kids and teens are met where they are at.  Going to an in-person meeting can not only be humiliating for kids, it is often unrealistic with their (and your) crazy schedules.  Kurbo meets them on their smartphones through an app with digital food and exercise tracking, text messages, and video chat.
  4. Top-notch personal health coaches trained to coach kids and teens work with them to set goals and stay on track. Every person who decides to do Kurbo gets their own coach that co-creates a plan specific for the child each week. Kids report that coaching is fun and they look forward to it because their coach is a role model and source of inspiration to keep them on track with their health goals. Parents tell us that they no longer need to act as food police and report that tension around food and meal time is dramatically reduced once starting with a coach.

Adult weight loss is a $60 billion industry.  Our goal is to help children avoid this cycle by enabling them to grow up healthy before they need programs like Weight Watchers and have to go through the pain and frustration of repeatedly getting back on track.