1. Stay on track
- Assess the household’s habits. Is everyone eating healthily, sleeping well and getting enough exercise?
- Watch how your kid is behaving. Is your son refusing to swim without a shirt on?
2. Watch your language
- Keep the focus on making kids feel good in their bodies.
- Get rid of scales; body weight doesn’t tell you how healthy you are.
- Watch how you refer to your own body and the bodies of others.
- Telling people they need to lose weight is as useful as telling someone with depression to cheer up.
3. Nourish and nurture
- Offer veggies before a meal so no one sits down starving and is inclined to overeat.
- Avoid all sugary drinks, including juice, which tends to be concentrated.
- Use smaller plates: Studies show portion sizes tend to mirror plate sizes.
- Don’t stock unhealthy foods.
4. Limit screen time
- Restrict screen time to two hours a day. To avoid conflict, set an alarm to inform your child when screen time is up.
- Discourage eating in front of screens, as it can lead to mindless consumption.
5. Move it!
- Invite your child to rake leaves with you, shovel snow, walk to school, walk the dog or simply dance in the kitchen.
- Let them know “there’s a sport for everybody and a body for every sport.”
- Tell your kids that activity can not only make them physically fit but also improve mood, make them mentally sharper and help them make friends.