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(HealthDay News) — If you want your children to be healthy for a lifetime, start by setting a healthy foundation when they’re young.

The American Heart Association offers these suggestions:

  • Set a good example by making healthy food choices and getting regular exercise. Get the whole family involved.
  • Speak positively to your children, enforcing what they can do rather than what they can’t. Set realistic expectations and know that small changes can lead to big improvements.
  • Set a rule of no more than two hours of screen time per day.
  • Reward your children for healthy habits with healthy rewards, versus candy or TV.
  • Let your children explore different types of exercise, sports and activity to find what they enjoy.
  • Have regular family dinners and make a game out of reading food labels together.

— Diana Kohnle

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