KEEPING kids healthy can be a tough job. Sometimes, the things that are good for kids aren’t always what they want.
But moms know that eating healthy and being active can help kids grow strong bodies and lower their future risk of obesity and health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. It can also help them do better in school.
Start by being a good role model. Kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they see you eating them, too. Be a good role model by staying active and doing activities the whole family can enjoy.
There are also many ways to make healthy eating fun. One way is by encouraging kids to help in the kitchen. When kids help pick and cook food, they are more likely to eat it. Younger kids can tear lettuce for salads or rinse fruits and vegetables while older kids can chop and slice.
The Network for a Healthy California provides these and other mom-tested tips to empower families to live better by eating more fruits and vegetables and being active every day. The tips come from Champions for Change, real moms who are role models for healthy change.
You don’t have to turn your life upside down to make healthy changes. Even small changes add up quickly to make a big difference, like adding fruit to cereal or offering crunchy carrots instead of chips as a snack.
Here are more mom-tested tips on how to make healthy change fun:
• Kids get excited when they can pick what they are going to eat. Have them pick the fruits and vegetables they want to pack in their lunch each day.
• Keep fruits and vegetables in easy-to-reach places at home to encourage healthy snacking. Leave a bowl of fresh fruit on the table and cut vegetables in the fridge. Get a mix of dried fruits and let kids make their own trail mix.
• Make shopping fun. Let kids pick three colors of fruits and vegetables to try, or choose three fruits to snack on during the week.
• Be creative when cooking. Try fun ideas like arranging different vegetables on pizza to make a face. Use slices of bell pepper for the mouth and eyebrows, olives for the eyes, and a cherry tomato or carrot for the nose.
• Play together. Turn off the TV and turn up the music. Have a dance contest to everyone’s favorite songs. Enjoy the outdoors and go for family walks, ride bikes together or play at a local park.
You can find more great tips, resources and healthy recipes that kids will love at www.CaChampionsForChange.net and www.Facebook.com/NetworkForAHealthyCalifornia.
North American Precis Syndicate