Care.com Interview Series: Raising Healthy Kids

Moms share tips, advice and mistakes they've made on their mission to raise healthy kids.

kids riding bikes

From apple slices in Happy Meals to a buffed-up Tony the Tiger, efforts to improve kids' health are multiplying. And who better to lead the charge than Michelle Obama (and her fabulous biceps!)? The First Lady's Let's Move campaign pushes kids health to the top of the national agenda. But the recent explosion of pro-health messages isn't necessarily making raising healthy kids any easier. Kids still flock to chips, fries, and sweets like flies to honey. But when Mom and Dad take the authority on health, kids' knowledge and self esteem can soar. Learn how some of our favorite blogger moms teach their kids healthy habits and why they think it's ok to make a few mistakes along the way.

8 Tips to Raising Healthy Kids:

  1. Talk honestly about health. "I don't see the use in hiding things from them. Instead, I work hard to educate my kids and teach them where the food we eat comes from, how to prepare it, and why we eat it." -Shaina Olmanson, Food for my Family

    Find out what healthy meal Shaina whipped up from last night's frozen leftovers

  2. Practice what you preach. "Example is key. Having your kids help with the food shopping (I know that sounds simply psychotic!) but telling them they can't buy something because it's gross or processed and showing them a better alternative is a lot of what I do." -Rebecca Gallagher, Frugalistablog

    See where Rebecca's kids draw the line when it comes to her passion for organic

  3. Cook together. "They are constantly in the kitchen with me. My 4-year-old knows exactly how to operate my grain mill, and when it's time to grind wheat, it's his job." -Hallee Bridgeman, Hallee the Homemaker

    Learn the one exception to Hallee's no junk food rule

  4. Encourage positive body image. "I work hard to let my kids know how much I love them just the way they are and that true beauty comes from within. I also never take my daughter shopping with me so she won't have to watch me cry in department store dressing rooms and wail things like 'Oh my God, is THAT really what I look like from behind?!'" -Leslie Marinelli, The Bearded Iris

    Find out why a broken microwave was the best thing that happened to Leslie and her family

  5. Slip fun into fitness. "If you ask your child to drop and give me twenty push-ups, it's probably not going to be as effective as engaging them in a pillow fight or going out and throwing the ball around with them or chasing them around the house and threatening to tickle them." -Missy Chase Lapine, The Sneaky Chef

    See how lacrosse goals motivate Missy's girls to eat healthier

  6. Team up with the teacher. "Since both my kids are in school, they have both had programs to teach them nutrition and exercise. One of them even said to me "I shouldn't have that cookie because I haven't had lunch yet." So, score one for school knowledge. Having it reinforced at school has really been a game changer." -Jen, The Martha Project

    Find out when Jen thinks it's ok to bend the rules when it comes to junk food

  7. Block harmful media messages. "[My kids] rarely watch live TV. It's not a huge thing but it keeps them from being bombarded with so many 'lies' as my husband calls all commercials." -Robin O'Bryant, Robin's Chicks

    See what Robin does when her kids get a bad case of "gimmies"

  8. Ease up on the Rules. "Don't overcomplicate it! It's not about living with rigid rules and constantly saying no. Do and enjoy all things in moderation, and never be afraid to change and get better." -Jill Krause, Baby Rabies

    See which video games actually help Jill's family stay active


* This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither Care.com nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.

 

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