The two main ways to encourage and maintain a healthy weight and prevent overweight are to make smart food choices and to be physically active.
Because as parents, you make a big difference in what children think and do. Your children look up to you as role models. If you eat right and are physically active, you have a good chance of helping your children make those choices, too.
As a family, we should be more successful in adopting healthy choices and making changes. It's hard to make changes on your own. Creating family habits around smart eating and physical activity can make it easier for everyone to maintain a healthy weight.For example, Planning regular family time that involves physical activity means that everyone is supported and encouraged to be active. Putting a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter and making a family agreement not to have chips or other high-calorie snacks in the house can change everyone's snacking habits. Strategies for Real Life
If you're interested in jump-starting your family on a healthy lifestyle by making some nutrition and physical activity changes, here are a few strategies to get you started: Recognize that you have more control than you might think. You can turn off the TV and the video game. You can give your family more vegetables for dinner. Think about the immediate benefits. If reducing future heart disease risk seems a bit abstract, focus on the good things that can happen right now. You won't feel so full if you have a smaller portion or skip dessert. A fruit salad tastes great and looks beautiful Make small, easy changes over time. It's easier and more appealing to start out with some new approaches to nutrition and physical activity that the whole family is really willing to try. For example, take a walk after dinner a couple of nights a week instead of turning on the TV. Try a variety of strategies. Get your children involved in the process of shopping for and preparing these healthy dinners. Make a plan with your child to walk to school together or to walk after dinner 2 days a week. This answer is based on source information from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.