3 Establishing healthy habits for your family looks different for everyone. With families being on the go so often and parents being flooded with many different sources of information, it can be challenging to know what is right for your family. Read on to learn the family-friendly guidance local family medicine physicians Eric Neverman, DO, and Jeremy Cordes, DO, PharmD, recommend to begin moving toward living healthier as a family. It sounds simple, but parents who model safe and healthy behaviors set a great example for their kids! Buckling your seat belt every time, wearing a helmet when skating or riding a bike, eating healthy, and limiting your own screen time let your kids know you’re walking the talk. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Family Physicians and Dr. Neverman and Dr. Cordes for getting your children off to a healthy start. Offer them nutritious foods Physicians and registered dietitiansnutritionists agree—paying attention to the kind of food you bring into your home sets your family up for success. Limit the amount of processed and sugary foods you buy. For snacks, encourage your kids to eat things like fresh fruit or vegetables with a healthy dip, like hummus. Also: ● Serve your family food in proper portion sizes. ● Eat meals as a family at the table, not in front of the TV, and limit devices at the table. ● Give your children plenty of water and milk to drink. Limit, or totally avoid, sweetened beverages like soft drinks and energy drinks. ● Involve your children in packing their school lunches. Use this time to talk to them about the importance of eating balanced meals and nutritious foods. Encourage physical activity Kids 6 and older should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Active kids are more likely to have a healthy weight, better heart and brain health, and better school attendance and academic performance. Find ways to be active as a family. An after-dinner family bicycle ride or brisk walk might be fun, for example. Limit screen time Give your kids active toys and games, like bikes, skateboards, jump ropes and sports equipment. If it’s safe, let them walk or bike places instead of always driving them in the car. Use praise, rewards and encouragement to help kids stay active. Never use physical activity as a punishment. Additional sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; American Heart Association Jeremy Cordes, DO, PharmD Eric Neverman, DO STAY ACTIVE THIS SUMMER! Scan here for a Grundy County area summer bucket list! Put your family on the path to good health Check out the back page for healthy on-the-go snack ideas!