Teach Your Children Well

Showing kids how to live a healthy, active life begins where they live and learn.

When we encourage our children to eat well, exercise often and maintain a healthy weight, we've taught them how to prevent 1/3 of all cancers – and avoid other chronic problems such as heart disease, diabetes and more.

It starts in school
Parents can organize health councils in local schools to help shape healthy practices and policies. Here are some ideas to discuss with teachers, principals and PTO groups:

  • Including more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and sources of lean protein in school lunches.
  • Eliminating vending machines that dispense soda, chips and sweets – or filling them with better choices instead.
  • Adopting a policy about foods brought in for birthdays and holiday parties. For example, fruit and whole-grain treats instead of cupcakes; 100% juice and water to replace sugary drinks.
  • Making sure that physical education and recess activities get kids moving.

Safe streets, active kids
These steps in your neighborhood that will foster a healthy, safe and active lifestyle for everyone, including children.

  • Vote to preserve parks and green spaces.
  • Start a community watch group to improve safety for walkers and bikers, especially kids.
  • Petition local planning boards for more sidewalks, crosswalks and traffic lights to protect pedestrians.
  • Advocate for construction of bike lanes, trails and running paths near your home.
  • Support area restaurants that serve healthful meals and offer calorie counts.
  • Patronize local farmers' markets.

Your example leads the way
Kids learn what they live. A healthy environment and your positive example will inspire them to make well-being a priority in their own lives. For more ideas on lifestyle and cancer prevention, go to www.cancer.org.