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Help Parents Make Healthy Choices

Parents and community members can model healthy decisions about physical activity and nutrition. But in today’s busy world, healthy choices aren’t always the easy choices. Parents and caregivers need a community of support. Here are some ways faith-based and community organizations can provide that support.

Ideas to Promote Healthy Choices

Pick one or two ideas that make sense for your community or congregation and brainstorm additional ideas to improve the health of your community. Ensure success by building on successful steps and expanding efforts over time.

  • Make Community Meals Healthier: At community or congregational meals or potlucks, provide healthy selections, like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. People may unknowingly eat larger amounts when presented with larger portions. Reduce portion sizes by eliminating buffet-style meals or simply by using smaller plates.
  • Motivational Groups: Challenge members of your community or congregation to form a motivational group for parents and caregivers who want to learn more about shopping for healthier foods or improving eating habits.
  • Community Cookbook: Create a community or congregational cookbook that features healthy, locally grown food and ingredients. Encourage all members to contribute their favorite healthy recipes or to come up with a healthy twist on a classic dish.
  • Serve Healthy Drinks and Snacks: Switch from sugar-sweetened beverages to 100% juice in education, child care, or after-school programs. Replace sugary drinks in vending machine with water, 100% fruit juice, or low-fat or fat-free milk. Use the HealthierUS School Challenge Competitive Food Calculator to determine which packaged snack foods are lower in fat, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Teach Healthy Living to Kids: Utilize youth education curriculum to encourage healthy habits connected with teachings in your community or faith traditions.
  • Encourage Breastfeeding: Encourage mothers to start their children on a path to a healthy life by providing seminars or creating safe spaces for breastfeeding.