Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Healthy Weight Toolkit

Pillars to a Healthy Lifestyle

Introduction to the Four Pillars

At Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, we believe four pillars of support help build healthy lives: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, and Behavioral Health. The pillars work together to keep a child’s “healthy house” upright and strong.

  1. Physical Activity: An active body is a healthy body. Regular exercise helps children manage their weight, boost their mood, and improve their sleep. Choosing activities they enjoy makes it easier for children to get moving and stay moving.
  2. Nutrition: You are what you eat. A child’s diet high in processed, high-calorie foods, high-sugar beverages, and super-size portions lead to weight gain, obesity, and other health issues. Yet, adopting healthier eating habits, such as choosing more whole foods and healthy snacks and learning how to manage meal sizes, can help a child’s body thrive.
  3. Behavioral Health: Mood and mental health is an often overlooked part of children’s overall health. Managing a child’s anxieties, fears, moods, and other emotions provide the additional support they need to maintain a healthy diet, proper exercise, and adequate sleep.
  4. Sleep: Without adequate sleep, children are more likely to overeat and exercise less. They also have a higher risk of depression and have trouble with concentration. Adopting lifestyle habits, such as watching caffeine intake, managing electronic screen time, and keeping a regular sleep schedule, helps them get the rest they need.


Select an Age Group

The Toolkit is divided into five age categories and covers children from newborns through the teenage years. Each of the Four Pillars is highlighted within each age group and customized to meet the specific needs and goals for those aged children.

Download the Healthy Weight Toolkit