Tips for Families


  1. Make half your grains whole.  Choose whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and low-fat popcorn, more often.
  2. Vary your veggies.  Go dark greens and orange with your vegetables-eat spinach, broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes.
  3. Focus on fruits.  Eat them at meals, and at snack time, too.  Choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried, and go easy on the fruit juice.
  4. Get your calcium-rich foods.  To build strong bones, serve low-fat and fat-free milk and other milk products several times a day.
  5. Go lean with protein.  Eat lean or low-fat meat, chicken turkey and fish.  Also, change your tune with more dry beans and peas.  Add chick peas, nuts, or seed to a salad; pinto beans to a burrito; or kidney beans to soup.
  6. Change your oil.  We need oil.  Get yours from fish, nuts, and liquid oils such as corn, soybean, canola and olive oil.
  7. Don’t sugarcoat it. Choose foods and beverages that do not have sugar and caloric sweeteners as one of the first ingredients.  Added sugars contribute calories with few, if any, nutrients.


  1. Set a good example.  Be physically active and get your family to join you.  Have fun together.  Play with your kids or pets.  Go for a walk, tumble in the leaves, or play catch.
  2. Take the President’s Challenge as a family.  Track your individual physical activities together and earn awards for active lifestyles at
  3. Establish a routine.  Set aside time each day as physical activity time-walk, jog, skate, cycle, or swim.  Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week and children need 60 minutes everyday or most days.
  4. Have an activity party.  Make the next birthday party centered on physical activity.  Try backyard Olympics, or relay races.  Have a bowling or skating party.
  5. Set up a home gym.  Use household items, such as canned foods, as weights.  Stairs can substitute as stair machines.
  6. Move it! Instead of sitting through TV commercials, get up and move.  When you talk on the phone, lift weights or walk around.  Remember to limit TV watching and computer time.
  7. Give activity gifts.  Give gifts that encourage physical activity-active games or sporting equipment.