Weight Loss for Kids and Teens by Kurbo Health
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Weight Loss for Kids and Teens by Kurbo Health is a health app that helps kids age 8 to 18 track food choices, exercise minutes, and personal goals. The app and its related Kurbo coaching system are based on the Traffic Light Diet System developed at Stanford University. It categorizes food into green, yellow, and red choices to help kids learn to choose healthy options more often, without totally restricting any foods. There's also an exercise log, a goal-setting and weight-tracking tool, health-education games, and videos explaining each concept. Although the app is free, more personalized help is available through the Kurbo program's website, which includes live coaches. An Android version is scheduled for release soon.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- part-whole relationships
- thinking critically
- set objectives
- achieving goals
Health & Fitness
- balanced diet
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kid-friendly graphics, a well-designed food-tracking system, games, and animated video tutorials give kids an assortment of ways to engage with the process of healthier eating and weight loss.
As kids play the games, they learn the Traffic Light Diet color system, which they then apply to tracking their own food choices on the app. Weekly challenges and coaching tips help renew kids' interest in making progress and learning more.
Helpful video tutorials, step-by-step goal setting (which includes self-assessment scoring of motivation for and confidence in reaching the goal), reminders, and lots of data tracking are bundled into the app's easy-to-understand system.
What's it about?
Once registered, kids choose an avatar and begin to enter their goals and learn the system through animated videos. Then kids begin to track the foods they eat by typing in the food and viewing whether it's categorized as green, yellow, or red (some have more than one color). Kids can see their progress as well as how many "red" foods they have left for the week. Kids also can play games, read tips and reminders, try new challenges, and set new goals each week. This app is a multifaceted weight-loss-and-fitness system.
Is it any good?
WEIGHT LOSS FOR KIDS AND TEENS can be an excellent system to help kids adopt healthier food and exercise habits. The app asks kids to identify their motivation for using it (among the many choices: "become more athletic," "please my parents," "lose weight") and then assess their own perceived level of motivation. This alone is a big step forward in helping kids take control of their own eating, weight, and healthy habits. When kids combine the right attitude and personally meaningful goals with tracking their food choices according to the app's food color system, they learn that eating healthier and exercising can help them achieve those goals.
Reminders to track food appear as push notifications on a kid's mobile device throughout the day, and, if they need more support, parents can pay for a human coach from the Kurbo program. This studied weight loss program combined with an easy-to-use app equals a potentially powerful change agent for kids who struggle with weight or healthy eating.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how to help kids succeed in their goals. Which foods in the green and yellow categories are favorites? Be sure to have a ready supply of those in your home. Which red foods make it difficult for your kid or teen to say no? Try to keep these foods out of the home most of the time.
Be supportive in fun ways, such as going for a bike ride or playing Wii Fit together.
Find some healthy cookbooks that show how to make traditionally unhealthy foods healthier with a few ingredient changes and new baking or cooking methods.