With rates of childhood obesity and diabetes rising, now is the perfect time to reverse those numbers.  CPN Dietitian, Torie Fuller MS RD/LD, offers ideas and knowledge on how to kick start those healthy habits as the school year begins.

“Some ideas to get your kids eating healthy are to be creative with your meal planning and buy fruits and veggies in season,” said Fuller. “Other things to do are buy fresh produce because it will last for more meals than box dinners or T.V. trays. Also, don’t go to the grocery store hungry. Shop the perimeters of the store where all of the fresh produce will be.”

Another option that can help out in terms of stretching your buying power is to purchase groceries in bulk, which can drive overall costs down. Buy vegetables and fruits in large quantities and cut and separate them when you get home. Remember, fruits and vegetables can be put into air tight containers and thrown in the freezer to be used at a later date. Parents can also encourage their children to help choose which vegetables and fruits they would like to have in their in lunches at the grocery store.

“Parents need to guide their children on eating healthier,” said Fuller. “Eating healthy and staying fit is a family affair. When everyone gets involved it makes it easier and more fun to continue healthy habits.”

Children need the nutrients from healthy foods to help stay focused and concentrated on their school work. Eating healthy can get you through the day in contrast to over processed foods, which will only leave you satisfied for a short time. Start the new school year off right by engaging the whole family into a healthier lifestyle by packing a healthy lunch.

For more information on how to live a healthier lifestyle and make better decisions on your lunch choices please visit www.choosemyplate.org.