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Parents are the perfect resource when it comes to improving diet and activity levels at home. Starting good habits early can have positive long-term effects on kids’ health.
Changing BehaviorsRecently, the AAP released updated guidelines on preventing obesity. These guidelines encourage parents to help change kids' eating habits and levels of activity at home to create a healthy lifestyle that can last a lifetime.
What happens at home has a big effect on what kids eat and their level of activity. The AAP guidelines recommend some practical steps parents can take to help:
In many cases, parents can help change kids’ behavior by being positive role models. And parents don’t have to be perfect role models. Kids can still learn by watching them make healthy choices.
Gather Round for MealtimeWhat else can you do? Try a little family togetherness. Family meals are a great time to talk to each other. Research shows that families who eat together tend to eat more nutritious meals. Make eating together a priority. Try to have family meals at least two or three times a week.
But what about those non-stop days that last from sun up till the last soccer practice? Making sure your children eat well doesn’t have to take a lot of time. The best way to help kids eat well is to provide healthy options at every meal and snack. When they fill up on nutritious foods, they’ll have less room for unhealthy options.
Ditch the Drive-thruChildren consume extra, empty calories when they eat fast food. Try these fast, at-home meal ideas Instead of a drive-thru
Snack Attack On The GoStock your kitchen with these timesaving, easy options to make snack time a snap:
Originally published September 17, 2015; Revised 2017
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