kids_jumpingsacksBeing fit includes eating well, getting a lot of physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. Kids respond better to lifestyle changes that promote wellness when you explain fitness in positive terms. Instead of focusing on negative messages about television or unhealthy snacks, encourage your children to:

1. Be active. For kids, activity is about play, not work. Look for fun ways to move together as a family. Blow up a balloon and play ‘How long can you keep it in the air?’ Or make quick work of chore by turning on music and have an aerobic-paced family cleanup time.

2. Drink smart. Serve kids water or low-fat milk at meals instead of soda or sugary beverages. Sweetened drinks sneak in empty calories that sabotage energy balance. Add a little juice to water to change the flavor.

3. Become food adventurers. Your kids may have favorite foods, but the best way to get the nutrition their bodies need is to eat a variety of foods-especially fruits and vegetables. If your children love dips, try serving fruit slices with yogurt or veggie slices with healthy dressing. Let them shop with you and pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try. Include puréed vegetables in soups or stews, or offer kids an assortment of vegetables to decorate their own veggie pizzas. Also, bananas and berries make great cereal toppers.

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