Friday, January 11, 2008

The Experts Say...
How to Get the Whole Family Involved
Remember the Three Musketeers' motto, "All for one, and one for all"? Keep it in mind when you're trying to help your kids reach a healthy weight.

You see, it isn't just your kids who need to make changes in what they eat and how much they exercise. Even if others in the household aren't overweight, it's very likely that there are some family-wide habits at play. Maybe you all snack while watching TV, or maybe you're all used to eating super-sized portions. Whatever your unhealthy habits are, you all need to change them — together. Getting the whole family involved is also a good move for morale. No child likes to be singled out or treated differently from the others. If your son gets a salad for dinner while everyone else chows down on a pizza, he's going to view healthy eating as a punishment.

According to Joy Bauer, R.D., the nutritionist who helped the kids on Shaq's Big Challenge, the smart strategy is to "put the whole family on a health kick." You certainly won't be doing anyone any harm. As Bauer points out, "No child will suffer from eating less junk and more nutritious foods, no matter how skinny he or she is." So introduce the family to vegetables, fruits, and high-fiber grains — you'll improve the health of your whole team!

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