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Help Your Child Grow Up Healthy and Strong

Healthy Lifestyles: A Family Affair!

Give your children building blocks for a healthy lifestyle by teaching them the importance of good nutrition and regular physical activity. Eating well and being physically active every day are keys to your child's health and well-being. Eating too many high calorie foods and getting too little physical activity can lead to excessive weight gain and physical health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, now being diagnosed in children. Obesity also is associated with an increased risk of other health problems such as depression.

You play an important role in helping your child, and the entire family, learn about healthy eating and regular physical activity. Parents have the power to set examples. Make healthy eating and daily physical activity fun, to help children learn good habits to last a lifetime. This brochure provides some tips on how you can promote healthy eating habits and encourage active lifestyles in your family.

Healthy Choices Start With You!

  • Help your children develop healthy eating habits at an early age. Nutritious food is something to enjoy. It helps children grow strong and gives them energy.

  • Set an example for active living by moving with your kids. Your kids pay attention to you, they really do!

  • Teach your children that good health depends on the right balance between what they eat and how much they move.

It's never too late! Small steps make a big difference.

Body Mass Index: A Useful Tool

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is used to assess overweight and risk for overweight. Children's body fatness changes over the years as they grow, and boys and girls differ as they mature, so it is important to use a BMI measure specifically designed for children. Many schools have begun routine BMI measurement for students as one tool to help identify those at risk of obesity. If you are concerned about your child's weight, ask your pediatrician or school clinic about the BMI for children. For more information on BMI for children, see www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi.

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