Offer your kids nutritious meals and snacks with an appropriate number of calories. You can help them develop healthy eating habits by making favorite dishes healthier and by reducing calorie-rich temptations.
- Encourage healthy eating habits. Small changes can lead to a recipe for success!
- Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products.
- Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.
- Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans for protein.
- Serve reasonably sized portions.
- Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
- Limit sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar, sodium and saturated fat.
Make favorite dishes healthier. Some of your favorite recipes can be healthier with a few changes . You can also try some new heart-healthy dishes that might just become favorites too!
Remove calorie-rich temptations. Treats are OK in moderation, but limiting high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can also help your children develop healthy eating habits. Here are examples of easy-to-prepare, low-fat and low-sugar treats that are 100 calories or less:
- A medium-size apple
- A medium-size banana
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup grapes
- 1 cup carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers with 2 tbsp. hummus
Help your kids understand the benefits of being physically active. Teach them that physical activity has great health benefits like:
- Strengthening bone
- Decreasing blood pressure
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Increasing self-esteem
- Helping with weight management
Help kids stay active.
Children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week, and every day if possible. You can set a great example! Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you. Some examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include:
- Brisk walking
- Playing tag
- Jumping rope
- Playing soccer
Reduce sedentary time. Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit “screen time” (TV, video games, Internet) to no more than two hours a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend TV for kids age 2 or younger.12 Encourage your children to find fun activities to do with family