School is almost done and soon the kids will be home all day. How can you make sure they eat healthy all day long?
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“One of the best ways to teach your kids about eating healthfully is to involve them in every step of the process, and Kids Eat Right is your tool for learning how to do this,” says registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association Spokesperson Amy Jamieson-Petonic. She offers tips to involve the entire family:
- Bring your kids shopping with you, and let them pick out the healthy foods they like, especially the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available during summer months.
- Have them help in the kitchen when preparing meals with age-appropriate tasks, letting the older kids chop and cook foods and the younger kids mix ingredients and set the table.
- And most importantly, sit down as a family and eat together. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, eating together as a family during adolescence is associated with lasting positive effects on nutritional quality in young adulthood.
“And don’t forget about one of the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle—physical activity,” says Jamieson-Petonic. “Your kids should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. So, don’t let them spend the summer sitting on the couch.”
Jamieson-Petonic says you should encourage them to get out and enjoy the benefits of being physically active with these tips:
- Sign kids up for local sports leagues or camps.
- Participate in family activities like swimming, tennis or biking.
- Organize neighborhood events like kickball or softball games.
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Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.
She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after wellness & stress management speaker.
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