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5 tips to help your kids maintain a healthy weight

father and sonAustralia has one of the fastest growing rates of obesity in the world. It affects one quarter of Australian children. Being overweight itself is a concern but it can also lead to other chronic health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues.

Keep your kids happy and within a healthy weight range by making some small lifestyle changes at home:

  1. Lead by example

As parents, your children will model their eating behaviours on yours. Choosing healthy, nutritious food for yourself, will encourage and teach kids to make healthier food choices for themselves. For example, rather than filling up on salty chips before dinner, have a plate of cut up veggie sticks with hommus on the kitchen bench.

  1. Make water the drink of choice

Water is a healthier alternative to fruit juice, cordial, soft drink and flavoured water, which are all high in sugar. Did you know a daily can of soft drink increases your chances of getting diabetes by 22% (1)

  1. Only buy foods you want your children to eat

Remember, if it is in the house, children will want to eat it. Reduce temptation and remove processed food from your pantry and fridge. Involve your children in shopping and teach them how to read labels. For example, let them chose a breakfast cereal but challenge them to find one with less than 20g of sugar per 100g.

  1. Make physical activity part of everyday life

Demonstrate to your children how being active is fun and should be part of everyday life. Remember kids need to be physically active for at least an hour every day. Start with weekend activities the whole family can participate in such as walking, running, cycling, swimming and many others. For more organised activities walk or run 5 kms on a Saturday morning or navigate with your kids in some local bushlands.

  1. Involve your kids in meal preparation

Kids are more likely to eat what they have prepared. Be creative and introduce them to a wide variety of food from all the food groups. Why not make a savoury muffin with your kids that is great for school?

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