JOPLIN, Mo. — Medical experts are sounding the alarm about the growing trend of weight issues among children, up 4% in the last decade.

“I used to eat Doritos, now I eat carrots and sugar-free items,” said Ireland Winters, 9 year old.

Just a couple of the positive changes in how Ireland Winters eats.

Freeman Health System has a plan to help kids and families make a healthy transition.

“We do individual and group, family-based programs so that the whole family can try new things, try new foods, try new activities so that they will develop a lifestyle of healthy attitudes, healthy behaviors,” said Sarah Willoughby, Behavioral Health Coach.

That includes meal planning healthy options – like what they call “superhero muffins.”

“Because they have zucchini and carrots, which are two vegetables that some kids don’t like or maybe they don’t eat very much of,” said Willoughby.

Local mom Brittany Banta says the Freeman program makes it easy to find the right healthy choices for her family.

“It’s baby steps and, you know, you work your way up, you know, just like anything else. You know, you start with, one or two vegetables, and then after that doesn’t seem scary. You work your way up,” said Banta.

Cucumbers and carrots were a good starting point.

“We’ve been doing a lot of like, grilled stuff since it’s summertime. Asparagus has always been a favorite vegetable. All those fruits, mostly like pineapples. You know, we’ve been making fruit salads,” she added.

Even 10-year-old daughter, Madelinn, has her own strategy if it’s not an immediate hit.

“If you don’t like it the first time maybe you could try it again to see if you like it a different time,” said Madelinn Banta.