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Tips for Encouraging Family Wellness

Movie stars, athletes, media, peers - children have the potential to be influenced by many outside factors. However, studies have found that parents have more potential to influence their children's behavior than anyone else, especially in regards to eating and physical activity. Recent reports indicate that childhood obesity is continuing to rise. As a result, parents are looking for creative ways to provide healthier lifestyle options for their families. In recognition of the importance of total family wellness, Bob Evans has listed a number of family wellness tips on its Web site, www.bobevans.

com, including the following: * Make sure that your family eats breakfast. According to several studies, children who consume a healthy breakfast meet their nutritional needs, keep their weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and have fewer stomach problems than kids who skip breakfast. * Involve your children in planning meals. Meals planned in advance tend to be healthier. Teach your children to read and learn from nutritional labels while grocery shopping to plan healthy meals.

* Have family meals together. Eating meals as a family allows parents to ensure that children are eating nutritional foods and offers emotional and behavioral benefits. For busy nights, consider dining out as a family at a restaurant with healthy options on both the children's and adults' menus. Bob Evans Restaurants have developed an extensive children's menu with healthy choices such as turkey, spaghetti and meatballs, carrots, green beans, applesauce, and fruit. * Involve the whole family in activities. Cardiac experts recommend that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Becoming active as a family is as easy as joining your children in bicycling, miniature golf, bowling, ice skating or walking.


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