Planning for a Healthier Future
When children eat healthy food and get daily physical activity, they feel better and have a lower risk of obesity related health conditions. Research shows that parents and families have a big impact on shaping the behavior of children. Your involvement as a parent is key to fostering a healthy family environment. Being active as a family creates healthy practices for life and it’s a great way to model healthy behaviors for your children.
Here are some simple strategies to jump start your family to the path for a healthier future:
Get away from the screen!
- Set limits on screen time, including cell phone, digital media and television.
- Aim for 2 hours or less a day.
- Aim for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Make family time, active time and just play!
- Bundle up and go for a walk
- Play hide and seek inside or have a scavenger hunt in the house
- Dance inside to your favorite music
Make small, easy changes.
- If your child typically watches 4 hours of screen time, cut it back to 3 hours.
- If your family is mostly sedentary, become physically active in small chunks like begin with 20 minutes.
Reward your child with healthy, non-food incentives.
- Smiles and hugs
- Stickers and stamps
- Earn points for special privileges
- Have friends sleepover
- Write an encouraging note
Creating healthy family habits around physical activity combined with eating right, can make it easier for everyone to maintain a healthy weight.