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HEAT: Healthy Eating & Activity Together

School Age Parent Tips

Healthy

  • Review your child's growth charts with your health care provider.
  • Be a good role model and make healthy eating and activity together a goal for all family members.
  • Remember this is a time that:
    • Children begin their role as student learners and become involved in activities at school.
    • Children slow down in their rate of growth.

Eating

  • Provide healthy choices for meals and snacks:
    • Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
    • Eat 3 or more servings of whole grain foods per day.
    • Use low-fat or non-fat milk, but limit intake to no more than 16 oz. per day.
    • Encourage low-fat snack foods.
    • Use soft margarine rather than lard, butter or stick margarine.
    • Portion size and control are very important.
    • Avoid fried foods and high-calorie, non-nutrient foods (e.g., donuts, French fries, chips, cakes and candy).
    • Serve 100% fruit juice (not fruit drinks), but limit to 4-6 oz. per day.
    • Avoid fruit drinks and sodas. Drink water instead.
  • Limit fast food meals to no more than twice per week.
  • Remind child to eat slowly.
  • Offer healthy traditional foods enjoyed in your culture (e.g., beans, corn, tortillas, fruits and vegetables).
  • Start each day by eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Do not have a "clean plate" policy for meals.

Activity

  • Ensure child participates in at least 60 minutes daily of intermittent, moderate to vigorous physical activity, such as jumping rope, basketball, kickball or dancing.
  • Limit TV, video and computer time to less than 2 hours a day.
  • No TV during meals.
  • No TV in your child's bedroom.

Together

  • Schedule times for family meals together and participation in physical activities.
  • Respect that your child is responsible for whether to eat and how much to eat.
  • Don't let TV advertisements influence food selection.
  • Begin teaching your child how to select and prepare healthful foods and drinks.
  • Work with your child to learn to avoid the use of food for comfort and to recognize emotional triggers for eating and subsitute other coping strategies.
  • Support healthy food choices and beverages sold or served in school.
  • Suport physical education times as a regular part of school activity.

Websites


Tips provided by the HEAT Resource Kit. © 2006 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the NAPNAP Foundation, Cherry Hill, NJ.

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