Being Healthy is Easier than You Think
Posted: November 28, 2012
School is back in session, schedules are packed with various activities, and parents are scrambling to get everything accomplished. Ask any parent what their biggest challenge is for taking steps to be a good healthy role model for kids and they’ll tell you it’s not enough time. Even with today’s hectic lifestyles, being a good role model takes less time than you think.
Healthful Eating Basics
- Give kids a healthful variety of foods. Allow them to choose what and how much to eat from the healthy foods you offer.
- Tune into hunger cues. Teach kids to eat when they’re hungry, not just because it’s a habit.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not overly full
- Make sure everyone eats breakfast. Offer quick options such as whole grain cereal, yogurt, fruit, low-fat milk and 100% juice.
- Keep healthy snacks upfront in the fridge or cabinet so they’re easy for kids to see and grab.
You don’t have to banish kids’ favorite treats such as chips, cookies and candy. Just offer them once in awhile and in sensible portions.
When it comes to treats, size matters
- Buy single-serving sizes of chips and cookies, or portion your own into re-sealable snack bags
- When you eat out, split the fries, onion rings or the dessert
- Serve beverages such as soft drinks in small glasses
- Let your kids see you enjoying small portions
Try these tips to set some limits on screen time and get your kids moving.
Be a Screen Time Monitor
- Set a Screen Time Budget – allot kids one to two hours per day to spend on TV, Video games or fun time on the computer
- Devise an After-School Action Plan. Brainstorm to create a list of activities to get them on their feet and away from the screen.
- Click it off at Meal Times. A ‘no’ TV’ policy during family meals channels your attention into what’s going on in each other’s lives.
Being active with your children gives you more quality time with them, boosts your energy and helps you mange stress.
Get Active with Your Kids
One of the most important skills you can ‘model’ for your kids is how to maintain a healthy weight by balancing the calories in the foods you eat with the calories you burn through physical activity. Set an example by eating moderately-sized portions and be physically active yourself.
Help Your Kids Strike the Right Balance
Being Healthy Takes Less Time Than You Think If not having enough time is your biggest barrier to being healthy, you are not alone. With today’s hectic lifestyles, many parents feel the same way.
- Map out a week of healthful meals and snacks so you can stock up on what you need in one trip to the store.
- Use supermarket time-savers such as rotisserie chicken, pre-washed salad greens and canned or frozen fruits and vegetables.
- Ask kids to help you plan their lunches and family dinners
- Enlist their help with meal prep.
For more information about this topic go to: http://ific.org/kidnetic.
This article was submitted by Marcia Weber, Extension Educator and Certified Food Safety Instructor for Penn State Extension in York County. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. Penn State Extension in York County is located at 112 Pleasant Acres Road, York PA, 17402, phone 717-840-7408, email firstname.lastname@example.org