Family Health and Fitness

Parents play a crucial role in their family’s health by choosing what physical activities they engage in as a family, as well as choosing which types of foods their family will consume. Both exercise and healthy diet are an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and help to prevent against many life threatening health conditions.


Exercise is essential for both children and adults. Physical activity is important because it encourages the body and all of its organs to function properly and efficiently. By engaging in physical activities with your children, you can encourage your kids to stay active and value a healthy lifestyle.

  • Parents can encourage their kids to be physically active by planning outings that involve exercise, such as hiking, swimming, skiing, or even playing at the park.
  • Being mindful of the types of toys that children have access to is another smart way to encourage exercise. Parents might consider purchasing toys like balls, jump ropes, and bicycles for their children to play with because they promote physical activity.
  • Taking walks together as a family after dinner can help burn calories, as well as serve as more quality family time.
  • Limiting the amount of time children are allowed to watch television is a good way to encourage children to exercise because it forces them to seek out other sources of entertainment.


A healthy diet can have many benefits including preventing against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some types of cancers. Parents who wish to improve their children’s diet should incorporate fruits and vegetables into their children’s meals, as well as incorporate a healthy balance of low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and whole grains.

  • Replacing sugary drinks with water or nutrient dense beverage options, such as low fat milk, can help protect children against consuming excess sugars that lead to unhealthy weight gain.
  • Baking and grilling food instead of frying it in fatty oils is another was that parents can make meals family meals healthier.
  • Adding vegetables to your families’ favorite dishes or your child’s sandwich for lunch is a good way to ensure that your family is getting the proper amount of vegetables and nutrients each day.


Jaime Venditti, State Coordinator, New York Health Works