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Healthy Back to School Habits

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From packing healthy lunches to fitting in family physical activities, keep your kids on the right track this school year with these tips.

Eat Right

Learn the ABCs of saving calories and money when you shop for groceries to pack your kids' lunches.

Always use ads and store bonus cards, which may offer discounts on healthy foods like fruits and veggies.

Buy produce in season to cut costs. Fall is often the best time of year to find a wide range of local produce.

Compare brands and package sizes to find the best buy. Be sure to read the Nutrition Facts label on packaged food to choose products with lower numbers for calories, saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugars.

Turn food shopping into family time after school or on the weekends! Bring your kids along and teach them to look out for healthy choices.

For more tips to eat healthy as you get back into the swing of the school year schedule, visit We Can! Eat Right webpage at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/index.htm.

Get Active

Kicking off the school year can be a busy time, leaving little room for physical activity. These three steps can help you find time to be active as a family.

  1. Keep track of how your family spends time for one week.
  2. Start small. Find two 30-minute time slots when your family can be active together after school or on the weekends.
  3. Get going. Try these great tips:
    • Walk your kids to school
    • Ride bikes after dinner
    • Play baseball
    • Jump rope
    • Shoot baskets
    • Dance
    • Walk the dog
    • Play tag
    • Rake leaves

To keep your family active this school year, visit the We Can! Get Active webpage at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/get-active/index.htm.

Reduce Screen Time

Kids spend a big part of their day sitting in the classroom, so you can help your children spend less time in front of the TV, computer, and video games—and more time having fun as a family—with these tips

Turn off the TV during mealtime and talk with your children about what they learned in school that day. Families who eat together tend to eat healthier.

Limit screen time to two hours each day for children 2 or older.

Suggest playing outside after school and join in the fun.

Turn on some music and have a family dance party.

Be a good role model. If you reduce your screen time and move more, your kids will too!

Find more tips on how you can reduce your family's screen time, visit the We Can! Reduce Screen Time webpage at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/reduce-screen-time/index.htm.

Last Updated: September 30, 2013