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Plan special weekend activities for the whole family – ride bikes or toss frisbee in the park!

Learn about public parks and recreation sites in your community – and use them!

Get kids involved in non-competitive sports – dancing to the stereo at home and gardening are great ways to be physically active!

Offer water for thirst, and lowfat milk with all meals.

Limit 100% juice to 4 – 6 oz. per day for young children, 6 to 8 oz. for older youth and adults.

Help kids choose one or two favorite shows to watch, then turn off the tube.

Encourage active play rather than TV or video games.

Limit TV sets to common areas of the home (family room), and keep them off and out of sight until planned TV time.

Limit eating out, and choose restaurants with healthy options.

Serve portions appropriate for age – 1 TBSP per year of age up to age four.

Share restaurant meals or ask for a to-go box when the meal arrives and take half home.

Help children learn to eat when hungry and stop when full.

Keep lots of fruits and vegetables at home for snacks and meals to teach kids to reach for natures “fast food.”

The kids are watching! Be a role model for eating smart and moving more!

Start the day with a good breakfast at home.

Involve everyone in meal planning and preparation.

Make activity a normal part of your daily routine

Family Resources

Families lay the foundation for healthy weight in children and youth. Making your home a place where eating smart and moving more is practiced and valued can make a big difference in what children choose when they are alone, at school or with friends.

The following Key Recommendations will help start your family on the road to a healthy and active lifestyle, regardless of weight. After each recommendation is a list of resources. Some you can print for use at home, and some are Web site links to more helpful information. The important thing is to find something that works for YOU and YOUR family. Contact Us with your questions or comments.

Key Recommendation #1

Ensure that all children and youth get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day

A Parent’s Guide to Fitness for Kids Who Hate Sports
Sponsored by the Nemours Foundation.

Active Living for Families from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This simple guide offers suggestions for getting and keeping your family active.

Child’s Play from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This simple guide offers tips for getting kids involved in active play.

Games Kids Play
Lists games, their origins, rules, etc.

Get Moving for the Health and Fun of It
This four-page document puts daily physical activity within reach for you and your children.

Kids, Sports and Exercise
Sponsored by the Nemours Foundation.

Let’s Move…Cold Weather Fun from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This article contains great ideas for getting your kids to move on cold days.

Let’s Move…Warm Weather Fun from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This article offers great ideas for safe and fun days outside.

Summer Activity List for Kids
from the Coalition for a Healthy, Active America.

VERB – It’s What You Do
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s campaign to get Tweens moving! Check out this interactive site with fun things to do.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Active Living Interactives
To help readers understand the policy issues related to physical activity and obesity, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has created several interactive applications. Please visit the site to try any one of these applications.

Kids in Action
Some simple ideas for physical activities that you can do with children to create the foundation for lifelong healthy behaviors. Infants (birth to 18 months), Toddlers (18 months to 36 months)and Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)

Key Recommendation #2

Limit sodas, juice drinks, punches, teas and other sweetened soft drinks

North Carolina Resources

Soft Drinks and School Age Children
This comprehensive resource helps parents understand the issues surrounding soft drink consumption on children’s health and provides resources for taking action in schools, child care and other settings.

Other Resources

A Dozen Ways to Get Kids to Drink More Milk
Great advice for parents who want to get their kids to drink milk.

Juice or Fruit Drinks? from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. Explains why juice is a better alternative to fruit drinks, but in modest amounts.

Liquid Candy: How Soft Drinks are Harming American’s Health
The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s exposé on the soft drinks that are so pervasive in our environment.

Think Your Drink
Which drinks give you more nutrition? A great resource for parents and kids who want to know what they are drinking.

Key Recommendation #3

Limit TV and video time to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day

Smart Guide to TV
The American Academy of Pediatrics guide to turning kids onto Smart TV.

Taming the Video Game Tiger
Simple tips for parents to help manage video gaming at home.

Television and the Family
An article for parents on the issues surrounding television and children’s health from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Tot Smart
A self-assessment for parents of your preschooler’s television viewing and reading readiness.

TV Turnoff
Tips for controlling TV at home, lists of alternative activities, and other resources for parents who want to take back control of the TV.

Twelve Tips to Tame the Tube
Tips to give You, the parents, control of the remote.

Use TV to Your Child’s Advantage
A 12-Chapter parent’s guide to thoughtful television viewing by Dr. Dorothy Singer, Dr. Jerome Singer and Dr. Diana Zuckerman.

Key Recommendation #4

Serve appropriate portion sizes of foods and beverages

North Carolina Resources

Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyles, Healthy Families
NC Cooperative Extension’s Successful Family article with tips for eating healthfully as a family.

Portion Sizes and School Age Children
This resource module explains the trends, effects and solutions surrounding our Super-Size culture.

Other Resources

Dole Servings for Five A Day
Eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables sounds like a lot, but this practical guide helps you see that it’s really not as difficult as you think!

How Much Are You Eating?
Is Super-Sizing your meal a good idea? This practical information helps consumers decide.

How Much Do You Eat? from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. A guide for parents on portion sizes.

How Much Is Enough? from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. A guide for parents on amounts of foods to maintain good health in children.

Portion Distortion Quiz
Take this fun quiz to test your knowledge of how portion sizes have changed over time. Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Pyramid Servings: How Much? How Many? from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. A guide for parents on using the Food Guide Pyramid.

Seven Ways to Size Up Your Servings
A simple, visual guide for learning portion size control.

Key Recommendation #5

Prepare and eat more meals at home

Children and cooking
Tips for introducing children ages 5 to 8 to the kitchen and simple food preparation.

Desperation Dinners’ Essential Shopping List
A list of what you should have in your pantry for those desperation dinner times!

Do you know the basics of healthy meal planning?
Tips and ideas for planning and serving healthy meals.

Enjoying the Family Meal from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This practical guide for parents offers tips for eating together as a family in a stress-free way.

Family Food Shopping: Spend Less, Get More from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This practical guide offers tips for deciding what to buy, finding bargains and shopping smart.

Family Meals – Fast, Healthful from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This practical guide offers tips for planning meals, shopping, saving time in the kitchen and getting kids involved.

Handling a Choosy Eater from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This practical guide offers tips on gently guiding youngsters to try and accept new foods.

Healthy Eating Starts with Healthy Shopping
A National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute tip sheet of staples to stock your pantry for a lower-calorie lifestyle.

Let’s Cook Together from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. Kids who help prepare meals are more likely to eat what they make. So get them involved! This guide offers tips for getting your budding chef to help in the kitchen.

Low Calorie Shopping List
Simple tips for reading food labels for calories while shopping from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Lower Calorie, Lower Fat Alternative Foods
A list of common foods purchased and lower-fat, lower-calorie alternatives.

Meal planning weekly – a time saver!
Save time and money with these planning and shopping tips.

Teaching Good Food Habits from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This practical guide offers helping nurturing good food habits in your children.

Together Let’s Try New Foods from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. Do new foods mean turned-up noses in your home? This guide offers practical tips for getting kids (and adults!) to give new foods a try.

Why Snacks? from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. This guide explains the importance of snacks to a child’s growth and development.

Recipes

Cooking Light Magazine
Requires a subscription to access recipes.

Cyber Kitchen
The National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute’s Cyber Kitchen allows you to create a healthy diet and compare what you eat with recommended standards. It also offers healthy African American and Latino recipes!

Delicious Decisions
The American Heart Association’s online cookbook. Find delicious, healthy recipes for your family to try.

Desperation Dinners Recipes

Easy Weekend Lunch Ideas from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health.

5 A DAY Fruit and Vegetable of the Month
complete with buying, storage, preparation suggestions, along with recipes.

5 A Day recipes
Recipes for adding more fruits and vegetables to any meal.

Food Network Quick and Easy Recipes

Eat Well for Less
Site includes three self-paced modules on stretching your food dollars as well as healthy eating using the food guide pyramid and food safety.

Kids-a-Cookin'
A fun site for families featuring healthy and quick entrees, side dishes and snacks. Each recipe has a photograph, step by step directions, helpful tips, nutrition facts aand kitchen tools need.

Razzle Dazzle Recipes, Quick, Easy-N-Fast Recipes
This site has numerous recipes listed by main ingredient.

That's My Home: Slow Cooker Cafe
Web site devoted to crock pot recipes for simple meals at home.

Upcoming Key Recommendation

Breastfeeding will become the sixth key recommendation for individuals and families in the NC Healthy Weight Initiative Plan’s next printing

Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Gift is a thorough overview of breastfeeding basics for moms

In-Home Breastfeeding Support

General Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyles and Healthy Weight Resources for Families

Watching My Child Grow from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. Children grow at different rates. This guide offers practical tips on how to track your child’s growth.

Does My Child Have A Weight Problem? from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. It’s hard for parents to know sometimes. This guide offers tips for deciding if your child is at a healthy weight and how to be sure they stay at a healthy weight.

Healthful Eating for Your Family from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. The ABCs of the Dietary Guidelines will help you and your family build a healthy base.

Get Kids in Action
helps parents inspire kids to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle. Site sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health and Gatorade.

Healthier US
Source of credible, accurate information to help Americans choose to live healthier lives.

USDA’s Interactive Healthy Eating Index and Physical Activity Tool
a self-assessment tool for you to track and learn about your eating and activity habits.

Calculate Your Body Mass Index
(Adults) National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Calculate Your Child’s Body Mass Index
USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Children’s Nutrition Research Service at Baylor College of Medicine.

Need nutrition advice?
Find a Registered Dietitian who practices in your area or get a nutrition tip of the day from the American Dietetic Association. Registered Dietitians are uniquely qualified to provide nutrition counseling for permanent lifestyle change.

NC Health Info
Find a North Carolina health care provider, or get health information.

Overweight and Obesity: What You Can Do
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site.

Choose A Healthy Weight for Life
The U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy Weight Advice for Consumers.

Helping Your Overweight Child
provides helpful hints for parents of overweight children. National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases.

What Does It Take to Be Healthy
Fun nutrition and physical activity calculators and tips from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ethnic and Cultural Food Guide Pyramid Variations
Food Guide Pyramids for the Asian, Mediterranean, Native American and Spanish audiences.

Where do your favorite foods fit?
Practical guidelines for consumers on making sense of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Parent Advocacy

Parents make great advocates for child nutrition in schools and child care. Here are a few resources you can use to increase your knowledge and skills in advocating for a healthier school or child care nutrition environment.

Child Care: What Will My Child Eat? from USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Nibbles for Health. A guide for parents of children in child care serviced by the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

Action for Healthy Kids
A statewide coalition of health professionals, educators, parents, business and industry and other interested individuals and organizations dedicated to changing the school nutrition and physical activity environment. Learn how you can join the efforts in North Carolina.

USDA’s Changing the Scene’s Guide to Local Action
A resource guide for parents and community members who desire to make change in their school nutrition environment.

NC Healthy Schools
The Department of Public Instruction and the NC Division of Public Health’s jointly sponsored Healthy Schools Web site.

Healthy food, Healthy Kids: A busy parent’s guide to banishing junk food from your child’s school and getting kids to eat the good stuff
Sponsored by Parents Advocating School Accountability.

Non-food based fund-raising ideas for schools
Sponsored by Parents Advocating School Accountability.

Advocating for healthier food in schools
Sponsored by Parents Advocating School Accountability.

School lunch and nutrition: Are your kids eating healthily at school?
Questions and checklists for parents to assess and impact school food.

 

 

North Carolina Healthy Weight Initiative, in support of Eat Smart, Move More...North Carolina

NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, | NC Division of Public Health

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