Of course, the influence works both ways as your children
will model what you do. Lead by example with these tips for healthy eating and
Healthy Eating Tips for Parents
Lose weight before pregnancy. While your doctor can advise you about your
individual needs, 25 to 30 pounds is a reasonable estimate for how much weight
you can expect to gain during pregnancy if you start out at a healthy weight.
Taking off any excess pounds in advance can increase your chances for a healthy
baby and a smoother recovery.
Watch your language. Teens are more likely to lose weight and avoid eating disorders when
parents talk about healthy eating rather than dieting and being overweight. Encouraging a positive body image is good for
both of you.
Involve your kids. Kids of all ages can learn by participating in
family decisions, and they’ll be more likely to support changes that they had a
hand in making. Collaborate on menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.
Schedule family dinners. There’s something magical about eating as a
family. In addition to promoting a balanced diet, kids tend to do better in
school and develop greater self-esteem.
Focus on whole foods. Replacing processed foods with natural whole foods is one of the most
effective changes you can make. You’ll be on your way to eating more fruits and vegetables, cutting down
on sugar, and consuming more fiber and nutrients.
Simplify your menu. Balanced meals can be fast food. Prepare chili
and soups to heat up later in the week. Pack a cooler with cut vegetables and
yogurt for healthy snacks in your car. Serve wraps or an omelet for dinner.
Study nutrition. If you’re eager to learn more, there are plenty
of reliable sources. Check government and university websites or consult a
Exercise Tips for Parents
Move around more. An active lifestyle includes more than formal
exercise. Take advantage of any opportunity to burn more calories. Climb stairs
instead of riding the elevator.
Spread it out. If it’s difficult to block out 30 minutes
for a workout, break it up into 10-minute segments. You could do some
yoga or Pilates in the morning, at lunch, and before bed.
Speed it up. Exercising smarter gives you the same results in less time. Full body
movements will condition your arms and legs in half the time you’d spend
working on them separately.
Work out together. You and your kids can share encouragement and
support. Buy a family gym membership at a facility that caters to all ages.
Plan vacations around mountain climbing or skiing.
Play around. Exercise is better when it’s fun. Play volleyball with your kids. Head to
the park and take turns tossing a Frisbee to your dog.
Bring it home. For busy weeks with no room for commuting to a
gym, keep some gear around the house. Jump rope or install a treadmill in your
Advance planning and teamwork can help you juggle the
demands of parenthood while you maintain a healthy weight. You’ll have more
energy for keeping up with your kids while you teach them positive habits they
can pass on to their own children.