STRIKE THE RIGHT BALANCE

HELP YOUR KIDS STRIKE THE RIGHT BALANCE

One of the most important skills you can "model" for your kids is how to maintain a healthy weight by balancing the calories in the foods you eat with the calories you burn through physical activity (The information below helps you get into the "balancing act").

Don't worry! Striking the right balance doesn't involve tricky math or tracking every bite of food and every body move. Start by setting an example—eat moderately-sized portions and be physically active yourself. Then, do things together like eating a lighter dinner after a bigger-than-usual lunch or taking a walk after enjoying an occasional treat such as chips, cookies or candy. Make sure kids get plenty of daily active play time, too, to help them balance out what they eat.

The tips in this Guide give you lots of ideas to make eating right and being physically active a routine part of everyone's day. In other words, tell —and show— your kids: Eat right. Play hard. Repeat.

WHAT'S 100 CALORIES OF FOOD AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?

As a good role model, it's important for you to strike the right balance between food and physical activity. It doesn't take a lot of food to get an extra 100 calories per day. For example, each of the following contains about 100 calories:

  • A handful of peanuts (about 25)
  • Half of a doughnut
  • One tablespoon of butter, margarine or mayonnaise
  • An 8-ounce glass of a regular soft drink
  • Half of a small bag of French fries

But, there's good news, too. You don't need to do a lot of physical activity to burn off an extra 100 calories per day. For example, each of the following activities burns about 100 calories:*

  • Climbing stairs for 11 minutes
  • Riding an exercise bike for 13 minutes
  • Gardening for 18 minutes
  • Walking for 22 minutes
  • Doing housework for 25 minutes

*Based on a 150-pound person

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