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Parents: Make Time for Healthy Choices

Parents: Make Time for Healthy Choices

(NewsUSA)- Between soccer practice, piano lessons and homework, more and more parents are discovering that it can be hard to balance a healthy life with a busy one.
Health care professionals, however, are discovering that nutrition- and activity-based habits, when developed early, can make a positive long-term impact.
Eileen Berry, a Florida mother and self-taught nutritionist, has taken this to heart. "Healthy foods are available -; and, as parents, we need to make this happen for our kids," she said. "We don't have the luxury of 'shouldas', 'wouldas' and 'couldas,' especially when our children are involved.
So, what can you do to get your children's habits on track and moving in a healthy direction?
* Take a look. Check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPyramid for kids online ( to see what your children need in their diets each day. Did you know, for example, that grains and vegetables should make up the majority of your child's diet?
* Don't forget the vegetables. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that while preschool-aged children consumed about 80 percent of their recommended fruit servings a day, only 25 percent had the recommended amount of vegetables. So, it is important for parents to creatively re-introduce vegetables -; and change things up by choosing vegetables in a range of colors.
* Check ingredients. Ingredients such as whole-grains and foods with oils derived from corn, soybean, canola and olive oils are good picks. Meanwhile, foods and beverages with caloric sweeteners as top ingredients should be avoided.
* Get moving. Have fun in the outdoors. Whether it's taking a walk together with the family dog or playing catch, get moving as a family.
* Set limits. Limit television and computer time to encourage your children to spend more time being active.
And while all parents should be advocates for their child's health, proper nutrition and activity is even more important for survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer. These children are among those in the higher-risk population for obesity, according to health care professionals. Good choices can lead to better health and may reduce the risk of preventable cancers in adulthood.
For more information on healthy habits for survivors, visit the National Children's Cancer Society at

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