Family Health & Fitness Day is Saturday, September 24.  Here are some ways that parents and caregivers can set a healthy example for the rest of the family!

Parents and caregivers can set a great example for the whole family by creating a healthy environment at home. Any combination of the following five steps can make a real difference in your children’s lives and help them build healthy habits for life.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins and minerals and help prevent chronic disease. Eat them fresh, frozen or canned, and keep them within easy reach. Try eating fruits and vegetables of different colors to make sure you and your family enjoy a wide range of nutrients.

Plan to Eat Healthy

Preparing healthy meals doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; it just takes planning. Get your children involved in the planning, shopping and cooking. Make sure your family eats a healthy breakfast every day; it can help prevent overeating and snacking later. Teach your children about healthy portion sizes so they learn to serve themselves a healthy amount of food.

Make Physical Activity Part of Your Routine

Activities should be fun and something the whole family can do together. Set specific goals that are easy for your family to achieve. Start by scheduling a time for physical activity—but be flexible if a conflict comes up.

Reduce Screen Time

Health experts say that computer and television time at home should be limited to one to two hours or less per day. Limit your family’s screen time every day, and set a good example by following the limit yourself. Don’t put a computer or TV in your child’s bedroom, and keep the TV off during family meals. More screen time means less time interacting with your family. Provide alternative hobbies and activities to prevent watching TV from becoming a habit.

Organize a School Health Team

Help create an environment at your children’s school that will encourage academic success through healthy food and physical activity. After organizing or becoming a member of a school health team, identify your school’s current health policies and programs. Help the team develop an action plan for improving student health.

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