Maintaining a nutritious diet has major health implications over a life time. A family approach can make a major impact to being a healthy weight, preventing diabetes and minimizing the risk of heart disease! While parents help make sure their kids have healthy meals and snacks every day, you may find that as your kids learn healthy eating they can be a great motivator for you to stay active and maintain a healthy weight, too!

Here are some family lifestyle tips from the National Institutes of Health:

  • Follow a healthy eating plan. Make healthy food choices, keep your calorie needs and your family's calorie needs in mind, and focus on the balance of energy IN and energy OUT.
  • Focus on portion size. Watch the portion sizes especially in fast food and other restaurants. The portions served often are enough for two or three people. Children's portion sizes should be smaller than those for adults. Cutting back on portion size will help you balance energy IN and energy OUT.
  • Be active. Make personal and family time active fun. Find activities that everyone will enjoy. For example, go for a brisk walk, bike or rollerblade, or train together for a charity walk or run.
  • Reduce screen time. Limit the use of TVs, computers, DVDs, and video games because they limit time for physical activity. Health experts recommend 2 hours or less per day of screen time that's not work- or homework-related.

Remember, focusing on promoting small, gradual changes in lifestyle can yield big results! The goal is to help the members of your family replace the tempting low nutrition food (high in fat and sugar) with more nutritious treat (packed with protein, vitamins and minerals). For example, try keeping healthy high protein snacks and bars on hand along with a nice bowl of fruit and avoid the unhealthy snacks such as donuts, potato chips, and candy bars.

This simple replacement cuts calories and fat, increases satiety between meals, boosts energy for tackling the entire family’s hectic daily routines, and provides a foundation so the entire family can lead longer, happier and healthier lives together.

For more tips and healthy recipes check out the