Healthy Lifestyles: A Family Affair!
Give your children building blocks for a healthy lifestyle by teaching them the importance of good nutrition and regular physical activity. Eating well and being physically active every day are keys to your child’s health and
well-being. Eating too many high calorie foods and getting too little physical activity can lead to excessive weight gain and physical health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, now being diagnosed in children. Obesity also is associated with an increased risk of other health problems such as depression. You play an important role in helping your child, and the entire family, learn about healthy eating and regular physical activity. Parents have the power to set examples. Make healthy eating and daily physical activity fun, to help children
learn good habits to last a lifetime. This brochure provides some tips on how you can promote healthy eating habits and encourage active lifestyles in your family.
Healthy Choices Start With You!
Help your children develop healthy eating habits at an early age. Nutritious food is something to enjoy. It helps children grow strong and gives them energy. Set an example for active living by moving with your kids. Your kids pay attention to you, they really do! Teach your children that good health depends on the right balance between what they eat and how much they move.
Keys to a Healthy Diet
The keys to healthy eating are variety, balance and moderation. Be sure your family eats a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grain products. Also include low-fat and nonfat dairy products, lean meats,
poultry, fish and legumes (lentils and beans). Drink water to quench your thirst, and go easy on the salt, sugar and saturated fat.Good nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle that also includes regular physical
activity. To maintain weight, both kids and adults must balance the calories they eat with the calories they burn through physical activity. If you eat more calories than you use up in physical activity, you gain weight. If you eat fewer a commitment to helping your family eat sensibly and move more often
Here are some tips for healthy eating to help you get started.
Try to keep track of your children’s meal/snack and physical activity patterns so you can help them balance the amount and types of food they eat with the amount of physical activity they perform.
Encourage your family to eat at least 5 servings of brightly colored vegetables and fruits a day. You can start the day with 100% fruit or vegetable juice. Slice fruit on top of cereal. Serve salad with lunch and an apple as an afternoon
snack. Include vegetables with dinner.
Leave the candy, soft drinks, chips and cookies at the store. Substitute them with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low-fat or nonfat milk products. Your child will soon learn to make smart food choices outside your home as well
Choose a variety of foods. No single food or food group supplies all the nutrients in the amounts that you need for good health. If you plan for pizza one night, balance your meal with salad, low-fat or nonfat milk and fruit.
Sharing meals is an ideal way for the family to spend time together. Whether you’re eating at home or eating out on the go, it’s important to eat smart.
Be consistent. Establish a family meal routine, and set times for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Eat together whenever possible.
Take charge of the foods your children eat. When you serve a meal, your child can choose to eat it or not; but don’t offer to substitute an unhealthy alternative when your child refuses to eat what you’ve served.
Restrict children’s access to the refrigerator and snack cupboards.
Turn off the tv during meals, and limit kids’ snacking when watching tv
Reward your kids with praise and fun activities rather than with food.
Serve a vegetable or fruit with every meal and at snack time.
Involve your children in meal planning and food preparation. They are more likely to eat what they help to make.