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Tips For Healthy Kids

The main way for you to help your children reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes is to lead by example. Children are more likely to eat healthier and be more active if the adults in their life do the same.

"Changes in lifestyle are difficult to make in today’s video game and fast food culture," says Lori Laffel, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of Pediatrics at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. "But if they’re done gradually, they can be sustained for a lifetime."

Here are some other tips for healthy kids from Joslin’s Pediatric Clinic:

  • Make lifestyle changes a team effort, involving the whole family.
  • Start by setting aside one day a week for a physical activity with the whole family, gradually increasing the time.
  • Introduce simple changes gradually.
  • Turn off the television, computer and video games and go for a walk or bike ride with your children.
  • Advocate for more physical education programs in the schools and recreation programs in your community.
  • Get pedometers for everyone in the family to track how many steps they take in a day.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.
  • Reduce portion sizes at home and at fast-food restaurants.
  • Teach kids to slow down and taste their food.
  • Avoid using food as a reward or as source of entertainment.
  • Re-organize what, where and when your children snack.
  • Teach them to read food labels and let them help plan and prepare meals.

Page last updated: October 31, 2014