HEAT: Healthy Eating & Activity Together
School Age Parent Tips
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tips provided by the HEAT Resource Kit. © 2006 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the NAPNAP Foundation, Cherry Hill, NJ.