Trim Kids: The Proven 12-Week Plan That Has Helped Thousands of Children Achieve a Healthier Weight


Based on the 15-year success of a proven, world-renowned program forpreventing and treating childhood obesity, Trim Kids? helps children achieve a healthy weight ? and have fun doing it.

Trim Kids? is a unique 12-week plan that gives parents and children a positive, safe initial approach to lifetime weight management. Each week, parents and kids together practice scientifically proven ways to increase daily activity and set (and celebrate!) achievable eating and exercise goals. ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Harper Resource Edition)
$11.86 price
(Save 30%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (55) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $8.99   
  • Used (43) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


Based on the 15-year success of a proven, world-renowned program forpreventing and treating childhood obesity, Trim Kids™ helps children achieve a healthy weight — and have fun doing it.

Trim Kids™ is a unique 12-week plan that gives parents and children a positive, safe initial approach to lifetime weight management. Each week, parents and kids together practice scientifically proven ways to increase daily activity and set (and celebrate!) achievable eating and exercise goals. Children learn exercises especially designed for their weight levels, and the family will enjoy dozens of menu plans with tasty, nutritious, kid-tested recipes. The program's comprehensive shopping lists and dining-out tips were designed with busy families in mind, and parents learn positive ways to coach children to make healthier lifestyle choices away from home.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Is your child overweight? He or she is not alone: One out of four American children are heavier than their ideal weight. The authors and their team of weight loss experts -- including pediatricians, exercise physiologists, dieticians, and psychologists -- want to help your entire family make the changes necessary to for a healthy lifestyle. Trim Kids is based on the phenomenal success of Louisiana State University's pediatric weight management program, where 90 percent of children who complete the program meet their goal weight and 65 to 70 percent maintain that weight for more than a year. Using the expertise compiled in an easy-to-follow workbook format, you and your family can create the conditions for healthy eating and exercise at home.

As a parent, you may have already tried many ways to help your child lose weight, with little success. Both of you may have experienced the myriad negative emotions that arise from childhood obesity. The good news is that carrying too much weight is a changeable condition in most cases and can be reversed with reasonable goals, emotional support, and physical education. The first part of the book prepares parents and children to "set the stage for success" by laying out the basics of good eating habits and appropriate physical activity. A partnership with your child's pediatrician is highly encouraged right from the start; creating a network of support increases the chances of success.

The program is organized into 12 weeks, beginning with that hard first week of limiting television and junk food and increasing body movement. Each week is packed with recipes, supportive anecdotes, and suggestions for fun ways to get your child's heart rate up. The authors also offer advice on boosting self-esteem, dealing with dining out, and preventing parental burnout. As the weeks go by and your child begins to see a slimmer self emerge, the commitment will certainly be worth it. (Jessica Leigh Lebos)

Claude Bouchard
…Parents with an obese child...would do well if they first consult Trim Kids.
David S. Ludwig
“Trim Kids is an authoritative approach to understanding and treating childhood overweight.”
Dennis M. Styne
“This book is filled with delicious but low-calorie recipes, fun activities... [and] behavior techniques...I recommend it highly!”
Nancy Butte
“The strategies in Trim Kids are practical, effective, and fun for kids. I strongly recommend this comprehensive guide to parents.”
Michael I. Goran
“Trim Kids is a much-needed and unique comprehensive program for achieving healthy weight in children...and it works.”
American Association for Active Lifestyles & Fitness (AAALF)
“This book does an excellent job emphasizing that kids are not just mini-adults. Their opinions are important...”
Rhonda Miller
“The results of this program are absolutely remarkable and definitely long-term. I highly recommend it.”
Annette M. Holtz
“This book is not only practical, but lifesaving—and life-changing for kids who are overweight...This program is phenomenal!”
Daniel Bessensen
"When I hear a mother say, ‘I am worried about my whole family’s health,’ I consider offering this book as one of the tools she can use to address her concerns and move forward. I highly recommend this book."
—Daniel Bessensen
“When I hear a mother say, ‘I am worried about my whole family’s health,’ I consider offering this book as one of the tools she can use to address her concerns and move forward. I highly recommend this book.”
--Daniel Bessensen
“When I hear a mother say, ‘I am worried about my whole family’s health,’ I consider offering this book as one of the tools she can use to address her concerns and move forward. I highly recommend this book.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sothern, an exercise physiologist, von Almen, a research psychologist, and dietician Schumacher team up in this comprehensive workbook to help parents guide their overweight children to better health. Today, 10 million kids that's one in four are overweight, the authors say, and the more overweight the child, the more at risk he is for adult obesity and type II diabetes; he's also more susceptible to low self-esteem and depression. Focusing on a three-pronged approach with nutrition, exercise and behavior modification techniques, the authors help parents assess their children's weight and choose one of four levels suited to the severity of their condition. The 12-week, 12-chapter process which begins with a trip to your child's pediatrician can be repeated as needed; as children progress, they simply graduate to a new level of the program. This kid-friendly method uses weekly goal-setting to prompt motivation and includes suggestions to get kids moving (get them to play tag or put a stationary bike in front of the TV). Snacks and meals clearly have been created with kids' taste buds in mind (i.e. frozen grapes or oven-baked chicken nuggets), though the entire family will enjoy many of the recipes. This practical guidebook will surely help parents get overweight kids on the right track to a healthy future, and its workbook format offers plenty of space for parents and kids to chart their successes. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
With 25 percent of American children overweight or obese, how can parents help a child lose excess pounds without nagging or making him or her develop an eating disorder? Exercise physiologist Sothern, research psychologist T. Kristian von Almen, and clinical dietician Heidi Schmacher have provided readers with the blueprint of their "Trim Kids" program, as developed over the last 15 years at Louisiana State University. The 12-week plan offers concrete guidelines for nutrition, exercise, positive reinforcement, and feedback based on each child's color-coded weight level (assigned initially by the severity of the child's weight problem). Part 1 provides background on the program and its components; Part 2 is a week-by-week guide to menus, recipes and suggested grocery lists, exercises, record keeping, and helpful hints, with comments from both parents and children at various stages of success. Relapses and backsliding are addressed as well. A little daunting if read in one sitting, this book is chock-full of advice that can be used even outside of the program. Recommended. Anne C. Tomlin, Auburn Memorial Hosp., NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060934170
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/29/2003
  • Edition description: First Harper Resource Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 536,251
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Melinda S. Southern, Ph.D., M.Ed., C.E.P., is a licensed clinical exercise physiologist and a research faculty member and director of the Pediatric Obesity Clinical Research Section at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. She directs the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Laboratory at the LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. She has published extensively in the field of pediatric obesity and is a member of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Expert Panel on Childhood Obesity.

T. Kristian von Almen, Ph.D., is a research psychologist and assistant clinical professor in pediatrics at LSU Health Sciences Center. His behavioral techniques and psychosocial considerations for overweight children have been nationally and internationally presented and published.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


When most of today's parents were kids, there were no computers, no video games, no cable TV channels, and few fast food restaurants. Back then, most kids spent their days riding bikes, climbing trees, and playing tag. The family got together at dinnertime, sat at the kitchen table, and ate a home-cooked meal. Until recently, only 5 to 10 percent of America's children were overweight.

Today, more than twice as many kids are overweight. That adds up to about one in four -- or 10 million -- children who are heavier than their ideal weight. There isn't a racial, ethnic, or age group that escapes this mind-boggling fact, and boys and girls are both affected. Obesity is thus the most prevalent nutritional disease of children and adolescents in the United States. Eighty percent of overweight ten- to thirteen-year-olds will become overweight adults. The more overweight a child is, the higher his or her risk for adult obesity and type II diabetes.

It's time to make some changes.

You may have known for a while that your child is overweight -- maybe even obese -- but you probably weren't sure how to combat the condition. Maybe your pediatrician has said he'd grow out of it or has recommended a low-fat diet; your friends may have suggested exercise; your mother may have made you feel guilty and even hinted that maybe he needs therapy. Maybe you've tried one or all of these approaches, and they didn't work.

No wonder: the issues are not simple. Having an overweight child can be difficult, embarrassing, and complex. The media bombards us with images ofbeanpole-thin, blemish-free, muscular people. Oprah and Rosie are helping to counteract the message that everyone is tiny; but for every healthy, yet not petite, celebrity there are many superthin supermodels. The images saturate our daily lives, pressuring families of overweight kids from every direction.

Then there are your child's peers. Although more and more kids today are overweight, this doesn't mean that they are rallying together against schoolyard ridicule. It doesn't cushion the pain of being called names, or dry the tears when, once again, your child is the last one picked for the school baseball team.

And finally, there you are. A concerned parent grappling with feelings of guilt, helplessness, maybe some anger, and plenty of worry. You know there's a problem, but like the hundreds of parents we've worked with, you vacillate about what to do. The notion that your child isn't the only overweight kid on the block may seem like a legitimate reason to wait until he grows out of it, or go with the flow. In truth, however, permitting your child to remain overweight is a choice you make. And with that choice, your child -- and the vast majority of the other chubby kids -- will endure difficult mental and physical struggles, as well as lose hope for a bright future.That's because the dramatic medical and emotional problems that develop when your child is overweight will follow her through her teenage years and into adulthood. If you choose not to make changes while your child is still young, chances are she may suffer from any of several deleterious conditions, including low self-esteem, depression, isolation, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, abnormal bone development, and sleep apnea.What's more, the damage resulting from an overweight childhood is usually damage done; that is, it's typically irreversible, creating a lifetime of emotional and physical obstacles for your child. And that lifetime, statistically speaking, will end sooner rather than later.That's the bad news.The good news is that we now have scientifically supported, clinically proven methods that can help your child lose weight and keep it off. The step-by-step proven techniques in the Trim Kids Program will see your child through a positive and lasting transition that promises a healthier, happier childhood and adulthood.You've already taken the first step toward meaningful changes simply by picking up this book. We welcome you and applaud your courage and commitment to change -- and especially your choice to accept this challenge for the sake of your child.

Who We Are

For the past fifteen years, the Committed to Kids Pediatric Weight-Management Program at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans has conducted studies on childhood obesity and learned how to break the vicious circle of overweight and related problems in children. Our hands-on clinical setting has provided the perfect laboratory to discover what's unique about overweight children and how their families can help them make healthy changes to ensure that they grow into healthy adults. This program, which we have translated for home use into the Trim Kids Program, is one of the only multidisciplinary team approaches in the world for preventing and treating childhood obesity. Our short-term success rate is 90 percent; our long-term success rate is 65 to 70 percent.

We are a team of medical experts and scientists -- an exercise physiologist, a registered dietitian, and a research psychologist -- who have pooled our knowledge, time, and passion for finding solutions to childhood weight problems. Since 1993, we have trained more than 100 medical and health professional groups throughout the United States, Europe, Central and South America, and Asia in how to use our techniques. In 1997, because of the high demand for our services, we began conducting: professional training seminars twice annually. To date, we have trained ten affiliate programs located in Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Washington, Illinois, and Ohio. Our website,, provides information on childhood weight problems for parents and professionals alike. We have consulted and lectured about weight management for major international corporations, hospitals, and scientific organizations and have appeared on radio and television and in print nationwide.

Melinda S. Sothern, Ph.D., M.Ed., C.E.P., is the director of the - Louisiana State University (LSU) Prevention of Childhood Obesity Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge and also serves as director of the Pediatric Obesity Clinical Research Section and an assistant professor of research at the LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans.

During her early career, when she was teaching physical education and coaching swimming and cheerleading, she first observed how terribly excess weight could affect schoolchildren. She developed a unique approach that, provided opportunities for all children to participate in physical education and athletics, regardless of size or initial ability. During this time, she also assisted European sports medicine experts with exercise testing of elite US., European, and Australian competitive swimmers and began developing her interest in exercise physiology research.

Dr. Sothern directs the research efforts and treatment program of the Pediatric Obesity division at LSUHSC. A licensed clinical exercise physiologist, she revolutionized the pediatric exercise science field with her work in physiologic function and childhood obesity, and moderate-intensity, progressive exercise for children with chronic diseases. The results of her research have been widely published in scientific journals including Clinical Pediatrics, European Journal of Pediatrics, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Pediatric Exercise Science, Journal of Investigative Medicine, International Journal of Pediatrics, Acta Pediatrica, Southern Medical Journal, Obesity Research, and others.

Dr. Sothern has led her field in establishing standardized guidelines for prescribing exercise for children with increasing levels of obesity. Her work in motivating overweight children to be active, based on social cognitive theory, has set the standard for health promotion in children nationwide. She is best known for her work in promoting active play as a means of preventing and treating childhood obesity. She has been a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity for more than ten years and currently serves as chairman of the Pediatric Obesity Interest Group. Dr. Sothern is a scientific reviewer for the Journal of Pediatrics, International Journal of Obesity, American Journal of Clinical Research, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Journal of Sport and Exercise Therapy, and Obesity Research. She is also a member of the United States Centers for Disease Control's expert panel on childhood obesity.

T. Kristian von Almen, Ph.D., is an adjunct assistant clinical professor in pediatrics at LSUHSC and a child development specialist with the Family Advocacy Care and Education Services (FACES) program of Children's Hospital in New Orleans. Dr. von Almen served as local coinvestigator and intervention director for the Dietary Intervention Study in Children, a clinical trial conducted from 1988 to 1998 in six major U.S. cities and funded by the National Institutes of Health. This program demonstrated the safety and efficacy of a low-saturated-fat diet for lowering LDL-cholesterol levels in preadolescent children while maintaining adequate growth and development through their teenage years.

Dr. von Almen's interest in childhood weight problems began in 1986 when, as a postdoctoral intern, he began illuminating the psychosocial and intervention needs of overweight children and their families. His innovative approach to treating childhood weight problems through the use of family-based multidisciplinary programs, coupled with his emphasis on the A-Factor (positive Attention, Accountability, and Attitude) and relapse prevention program, have proved so successful that they are now used as models for clinicians and scientists worldwide He is a coauthor of articles published in popular and scientific journals including Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Psychology, Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, American Journal of Disease in Childhood, and Obesity Research.

Heidi Schumacher, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E., is the chief clinical dietitian at Children's Hospital in New Orleans, where she has practiced infant, pediatric, and adolescent nutrition since 1988. Her passion for developing and expanding the nutritional component of the Pediatric Weight Management Program and her years of experience as a pediatric dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in a regional pediatric medical center qualify her as an authority on meeting children's nutritional needs while they reach their weight management goals.

Ms. Schumacher has developed and conducts weekly hands-on outpatient educational sessions for overweight and obese children and their families to inspire new ways of understanding, cooking, and eating food. Her one-on-one interactions; with these families have enabled her to establish healthy diets and kitchen habits that families can easily integrate with their lives. She also enjoys creating nutritious, kid-approved recipes that satisfy children's taste buds, meet their energy requirements, and encourage healthy, low-fat eating. Ms. Schumacher's objective is to keep the fun in food selection, preparation, and consumption. As a Certified Diabetes Educator, she established the nutritional prescriptions and conducts both diabetes and nutritional education for children and adolescents with diabetes mellitus. Her passion is to help children and families to develop manageable dietary habits for optimal health and well-being.

Our combined knowledge, clinical research results, and years of inpatient and outpatient experience have given us a deep understanding of the unique challenges facing overweight children and their parents. But without your own active involvement and commitment to your child's well-being, the Trim Kids Program -- or any program -- cannot reap long-lasting results. You are the key to your child's success at losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You will not be doing this alone, however. Through this book, we will guide you every step of the way so that you and your child will come out winners.

Trim Kids. Copyright © by Melinda Sothern. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword x
Introduction xii
Part 1 Setting the Stage for Success
1. Is My Child Overweight? 2
2. Embracing the Elements 11
3. Gearing Up and Getting Started 18
4. From Fattening to Fulfilling Foods 29
5. Encouraging Physical Activity: Let the Children Play! 42
6. Making Behavioral and Lifestyle Changes 64
Part 2 The Trim Kids Twelve-Week Program
Week 1 Ready, Set, Go! 80
Week 2 Eating Meals and Snacks the Trim Kids Way 106
Week 3 Solving Problems Family Style 143
Week 4 Monitoring Your Momentum 177
Week 5 Body Basics 198
Week 6 Esteem Builders 227
Week 7 Success Over Stress 253
Week 8 Keeping It All Together 283
Week 9 Emotional Pitfalls 307
Week 10 Taking Vacations and Dining Out 327
Week 11 Fun Facts and Relapse Prevention 352
Week 12 Reassessing, Recommitting, and Forging the Future 367
Appendix Forms You'll Need 383
Form 1 Trim Kids Weekly Report and Goal Sheet 384
Form 2 Trim Kids Aerobic Activity and Food Checklist 386
Form 3 Trim Kids Strength and Flexibility Workout Chart 388
Form 4 Form Letter--Request to Limit Physical Activities 392
Index 393
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 2, 2012

    Amazing book, must get. If you follow the diet very strictly, th

    Amazing book, must get. If you follow the diet very strictly, then you will lose weight quickly. So you get what you want.
    Love it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2002


    With obesity being a national problem particularly among children all across the United States, it's high time that a book like this has finally come out that addresses this problem. The authors are people with years of clinical experience working with over-weight children, helping them with a workable diet plan, exercise program & moral support so that they can make a healthy transition into adulthood. I can't recommend this book highly enough!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2002

    Finally, A Much Needed Book!!

    The authors of Trim Kids have produced an easy to follow, fact based book for parents, especially those with overweight or obese children. This is very encouraging as the news today bombards us with statistics about how fat our nation and its children are becoming. I know, as a parent, how much easier it is and how important it is to instill healthy eating, activity and attitudes in our young children. And this book addresses all three aspects of weight difficulties; it's not just a diet book like so many others. I hope Americans and their children will take advantage of the lifestyle changes recommended by the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)