Not too long ago, we took our eight year old for his annual check-up.  Our boys have always been in the upper percentiles on the growth charts so it wasn’t really a surprise when the doctor told us that he still was in the 90th percentile for weight.  What was a surprise however, was that he was now only in the 75th for height.  She explained that because of the height/weight discrepancy, we might want to start limiting some things in his diet and begin exercising a bit more.  While I know he is by no means overweight, it was an eye opener for us as a family.  I had been trying for some time to get my 6’1” and 170lb (soaking wet) husband on board with the less pizza, pasta and sugary lemonade diet, and this was the wake-up call he needed!  Since then we have incorporated some changes into our home.  Here are five suggestions for doing the same in yours!

1. Prepared Menus: One of the best things I did for my family was incorporate a menu plan. The great thing about being strategic about your meals is that you can plan, shop, cook and prep all in one day (Sundays for me) and then have your ingredients ready to go every other day of the week! It’s perfect for a family on the go.

2. Limit Sugary DrinksWhile we don’t eat a ton of sugary things in our house, sugar was still sneaking into our diet through our drinking habits.  Now our kids choose which meal will be served with lemonade or Kool-Aid,  and every other meal they drink water or almond milk.
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3. Sneak in Exercise:  This can be as simple as taking a walk after dinner or utilizing equipment you already have.  We bought a trampoline for the boys at Christmas.  I know how controversial they can be, but I discussed the purchase with our pediatrician before buying and she gave me a few tips on making it safe for the entire family.  The point is to find something fun that works for your family and do it!
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4. Game Night:  My boys LOVE playing games…any game will do.  We love Corn Hole, playing on our Wii, basketball, Go Fish, you name it.  They don’t care what we play as long as we play together as a family.
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5. Make Your Family a Priority:  My family knows that they come first.  I never want my kids to doubt their parents love for them and for each other.  Just simply spending good, quality time with them gives them the security and confidence that’s so important in maintaining a healthy outlook on life.

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