Eat Right. Be Active.

Lead by example and your kids are sure to follow!

Of course you want your kids to be healthy. But, like many parents, you might be concerned because it's sometimes hard to get them to eat right and be physically active.

You're right to be concerned because children with poor eating and physical activity habits are at increased risk for becoming overweight and for future health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Overweight kids may also experience poor body image and have trouble making friends because of low self-esteem.

The good news is, you can plant the seeds of good health today so your kids grow into a healthy future tomorrow. That's because, when it comes to eating right and being physically active, kids take their lead from you. You're their # 1 role model!

This Guide from is packed with fun, easy—and even time-saving—ideas and tips that can help you lead your kids down the path to a lifetime of healthful habits. And we know your family is busy, so rest assured—it's OK to make changes one step at a time.

Start by taking the Healthy Habits Quiz for Parents to test your role-modeling skills. Then read on for real-life advice on being a great role model for your kids!

Your kids look to you as a role model. Are you seizing the opportunity to lead them to healthful eating and physical activity habits…or just telling them what they should do? To find out, answer "yes" or "no" to each question below.

  1. ______ Do you eat a balanced diet that includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk or dairy products and lean meats on most days of the week?
  2. ______ Do you eat breakfast every morning?
  3. ______ Do you usually choose nutritious snacks such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt or whole-grain crackers?
  4. ______ Do you watch portion sizes for treats such as chips, sweets and soft drinks?
  5. ______ Are you physically active for at least 30 minutes every day, or most days?
  6. ______ Do you eat meals with your family on most days of the week?
  7. ______ Do you limit "screen time," such as watching TV and using the computer, to one to two hours a day?
  8. ______ Do you take time out of your day for yourself—for example, to be physically active? When you make healthful choices that fit your lifestyle, you can do the things you want to do—and you show your kids that they can, too.

How'd you do? Congrats on every "yes" answer—you're doing a terrific job as a role model in these areas. Consider each "no" answer an opportunity to make a change in your own behavior so you're an even better role model for your kids.

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