One of the more important things we can do as parents is prepare our kids to be healthy, productive, happy adults. It may seem like a small step, but you'd be surprised how often it's overlooked: Teaching kids how to properly take care of their bodies is one of the keys to fighting obesity.
Inviting kids and teens to go grocery shopping with you or prepare meals by your side allows time for you to teach them about what a body needs and doesn't need. Fruits and vegetables are OK while soda and French fries are not. Educate your kids about the food pyramid. It's changed since you were a kid, so get a refresher for yourself at the MyPyramid.gov Web site. Instruct your children on how to read food labels. For example, glancing at the calories in a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola, you'll see 100 calories. What your kids might miss, though, is that it's 100 calories per serving, and there are 2.5 servings in that bottle. Drink the whole thing, and you've consumed 250 calories -- that's almost the same amount of calories in one 7-layer burrito from Taco Bell.