CONTACT: Jenna McPhee
Boston, MA November 20, 2009 Kids today are faced with difficult challenges, particularly regarding fitness and nutrition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that only 35 percent of American adolescents meet current physical activity recommendations, and only about 21 percent eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
When it comes to the nutrition, physical activity and health needs of a child, parents are the key decision makers. One of the best ways to help your family stay healthy is to focus on good nutrition and staying active. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' (BCBSMA) Prevention and Wellness Program is offering the following tips to help you take advantage of the healthy choices that can affect your child's health in a big way.
Get a Healthy Start on Eating Smart
When given a choice, most children will choose candy and soft drinks rather than a nutritious snack. But forbidding these choices can make your child want them even more. So how do you teach your child to choose healthy foods and enjoy fruits and vegetables?
"Try to keep a variety of nutritious and appealing food choices available," suggests Bryce Williams, Director of Prevention & Wellness at BCBSMA. "Pick one new fruit or vegetable for your family to sample each time you visit the store. If your child sees you enjoying fruits and vegetables and trying new foods regularly, he or she will be more willing to try, too."
Other tips to help children learn healthy eating habits include:
Take a Step in the Right Direction
Being active is one great way to help yourself and your family stay healthier. Making physical activity a part of your family's daily life is easier than you think. Try one of these tips to help get your entire family moving more often:
Resources for Parents
Here are some resources to help teach your children how to eat healthy and keep in shape:
www.mybluehealthma.com: BCBSMA members can use the My Blue Health Family Fit programs to help educate and motivate the whole family to be more active and learn healthier eating habits.
www.AHealthyMe.com: Explore resources for fitness, fun, family, and a healthy lifestyle.
BCBSMA's Prevention and Wellness Program started in January 1995 and provides initiatives to promote preventive health to BCBSMA's nearly 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. For more information about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts's Prevention and Wellness Programs, call 1-800-262-BLUE.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ( http://www.bluecrossma.com ) was founded more than 70 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to more than 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. BCBSMA believes in rewarding doctors and hospitals for delivering safe and effective care, and in empowering patients to take more responsibility, become educated health care consumers and become stronger partners with their doctors. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.