New recommendations from American Academy of Pediatrics to prevent obesity

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First lady Michelle Obama would like families to eat their vegetables. So would the the American Academy of Pediatrics. Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images
First lady Michelle Obama would like families to eat their vegetables. So would the the American Academy of Pediatrics. Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

First lady Michelle Obama would like families to eat their vegetables. So would the the American Academy of Pediatrics. Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Today the American Academy of Pediatrics gave new recommendations on how families can be healthier. Many of the recommendations are not going to surprise you because they just make sense and are familiar. Doing them, … well, that’s another story.

Here they are:

• Buy fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, high-calorie snacks and sweets.

• If you want to have these foods for a special celebration, buy them shortly before the event, and remove them immediately afterward.

• Healthy foods and beverages (water, fruits, vegetables and other low-calorie snacks) should be readily available and in plain sight on the kitchen table or counter, or in the front of the shelf in the refrigerator.

• High-calorie foods should be less visible – wrapped in foil rather than clear wrap, and placed in the back of the fridge or pantry.

• Encourage children to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

The academy also recommended that families participate in 60 minutes of physical activity a day, limit screen time, reduce the number of television sets in their home, and remove screens from bedrooms and kitchens. They also recommended 9 hours of sleep a day.

If I took a poll of parents, I bet most of us are not hitting these marks. I know we are really failing in my house. We just got off a 7-day cruise in which my children were glued to their screens instead of looking out and seeing the beautiful scenery around them. I’m pretty sure they also survived on unlimited pizza, ice cream, pancakes and pasta. I think I saw my son eat broccoli twice. My daughter once ate a piece of melon. Not good.

What tricks do you have to get your kids to eat healthier? And if you tell me you put spinach in the brownies, I’m not coming to your house.


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