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Wondering where to start? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers guidelines to help parents take real steps to prevent obesity. These guidelines encourage parents to help change kids' eating habits and levels of activity at home. By doing so, they help 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:
What 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.
What about those non-stop days that last from sun up till the last soccer practice? Eating well doesn’t have to take a lot of time. The best way to help kids fuel up on good foods 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.
Children consume extra, empty calories when they eat fast food. Instead of hitting the drive-through, try these fast, at-home meal ideas.
Stock your kitchen with these timesaving, kid-pleasing options to make snack time a snap:
Remember, parents can help change kids’ behavior by being positive role models. Kids learn by watching parents make healthy choices.
Originally published 9/17/2015; Revised 2017, 2021
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