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Parents Should Be Good Role Models For Healthy Eating

Contributed by: NAPSA

Parents Should Be Good Role Models For Healthy Eating
(NAPSA) - A recent survey by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) asked 1,000 member registered dietitians for their recommendations on how parents can prevent childhood weight gain and obesity. According to the survey, a majority of registered dietitians feel that parents can play the primary role in preventing the growing problem of childhood overweight.

The survey results were used by Quaker Oatmeal to create an easy five-step online nutrition program called "Quaker Oatmeal Strive for Five" that helps parents instill key nutrition habits at home and prevent inappropriate childhood weight gain.

"The percentage of overweight children has doubled in the past three years, and research indicates the key to breaking this cycle is for parents to take an active role in preventing the problem," said ADA president and registered dietitian Marianne Smith Edge. "The online tools developed by Quaker Oatmeal provide parents with practical, easy-to-implement guides to help establish a healthy lifestyle and become better role models for their children."

The program takes a new approach to the childhood obesity epidemic by combining the knowledge and expertise of many thought leaders into one fun, easy-to-use resource. The program takes just five to 10 minutes each day to complete and is organized into weekly calendars that offer tips, interactive, downloadable tools and incentives recommended by the ADA member survey.

"I think parents will be surprised at how easy it is to introduce healthy eating habits at home. The program gets the whole family involved and makes it fun to learn how to eat healthy," said Jodie Shield, MEd, RD, childhood nutrition expert. "Simple steps like eating meals with your children, serving whole grain foods and offering fun incentives go a long way in helping children maintain healthy body weights."

Five Steps to Preventing Childhood Weight Gain and Obesity

Quaker Oatmeal Strive for Five works by making simple but critical changes to a family's eating habits to instill healthier nutrition behaviors in just one month.

  • Step One: Become a Good Nutrition Role Model. Your kids are what you eat. According to the survey, nine out of 10 registered dietitians agree that parents with poor eating habits are the greatest barrier to preventing childhood weight gain and obesity. An interactive quiz helps parents assess their family's current eating habits and learn simple ways to become better nutrition role models.

  • Step Two: Introduce Whole Grains. Eating more whole-grain, fiber-rich foods can help reduce the risk of obesity. Online tools, like a Pantry Checklist, help parents shop for whole grains and learn how they can and why they should incorporate them into their family's diet.

  • Step Three: Eat a Healthy Breakfast. Eating a balanced breakfast can help prevent overeating throughout the day. A fun Breakfast BINGO game, developed to help parents engage their children and encourage them to eat breakfast, offers daily menus and a customized reward for children who win.

  • Step Four: Understand Portion Sizes. Nearly all survey respondents identified parent education about portion size as an important means to help prevent childhood weight gain and obesity. The Portion Distortion tool creates a visual representation of proper serving sizes based on real life objects, such as a baseball and a deck of cards, for nearly 500 foods commonly eaten by children aged 6 to 12 years old.

  • Step Five: Measure Your Progress. The final component of the program is a reassessment quiz that helps parents measure their progress in establishing better eating habits for their families.



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