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Being a Role Model for Your Kids Can Help Them Attain a Healthy Lifestyle

With childhood obesity at an all time high it's important to recognize that children learn many of their lifelong eating and activity habits at a young age. “It’s very important that adults are role models for our children when it comes to what we eat and how active we are,” says Renna VanEpps, Buffalo Weight Watchers Leader and mother of 2 ages, 11 and 13. “My kids go to the store with me and we try a new fruit or vegetable every week. Some we like and some we don’t. .its fun and it opens them up to trying new foods.”

Weight Watchers International Chief Scientific Officer Karen Miller-Kovach and Author of the book Weight Watchers Family Power: 5 Simple Rules for a Healthy-Weight Home advises, "Don't really talk about what healthy; just provides healthy foods. Kids learn by watching you, not from lectures about saturated fat.”
Below are some tips from the book Weight Watchers Family Power: 5 Simple Rules for a Healthy-Weight Home
The Five Simple Rules of a Healthy Weight Home

1.Focus on wholesome, nutritious foods
• These foods not only enhance the achievement of healthy weight, but also promote overall health and well being

2.Include Treats Occasionally and in reasonable portions
• Definition of a treat: A food that is generally packed with lots of calories; low in nutritional value; and rates highly when it comes to providing feelings of pleasure.

• Definition of a “snack”: A snack is a “mini meal” that includes wholesome, nutritious foods.

3.Aim to limit screen time (excluding homework) to two hours or less per day.
•The AAP (American Association of Pediatricians) suggests limiting screen time for children to a maximum of two hours per day.
4Try to be active one hour or more per day.
• 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children get an hour of physical activity a day. That is the same amount of time for adults who want to maintain weight loss

5.The rules apply to everyone in the home.
•A healthy weight lifestyle is not just for family members who have or may have weight issues.

“If we handle our own eating habits with a healthy attitude and wholesome choices, we can help our whole family follow by example’, says Renna “We keep a bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables in the fridge for a snack, Its so great to see the kids go for those bowls when they are hungry. I am proud that my kids now are learning healthy habits that hopefully will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

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