GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Recent studies by the National Institutes of Health found one in three children is overweight and nearly 17% of US kids are considered obese; one-third of adults are too. That report also says that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Registered Dietician Pat Baird joined the KARE 11 News at 4 to discuss ways for parents to role model better eating behaviors to get the entire family healthier.

Start with Breakfast!

  • Buckets of research show it's the most important meal
  • Breakfast eaters - of all ages - weigh less, focus better, are absent less etc.
  • Make it simple, make it portable: cereal, sandwich, yogurt & fruit
  • Choose better fats: LF/skim milk, soft spreads instead of butter, LF cheeses (and cold cuts)

Foods to Include:

  • Simple visual shows what to serve at home; what to order in restaurants
  • Look at special needs of kids: calcium, vitamin D, iron,
  • Dairy products, fruits and veggies first. Great opportunity to teach kids to cook
  • Read food labels carefully; then choose the best. Make it a game to keep it fun

Get More Sleep:

  • Research shows adequate sleep (7-9 hours 10-12 for kids!) is essential to better health
  • Lack of sleep contributes to weight gain, absenteeism, lack of focus, etc.
  • Set a routine for the family
  • Monitor electronics; kids: no texting under the covers!

Make it Fun: Track it With Apps:

  • Mobile calorie trackers, phone-based pedometers
  • My Food-a-Pedia (searches 1,000 foods gives info on each)
  • Use cell phone camera as a food diary
  • Make this a family activity