Healthy Eating is a Family Affair


Marshall Reid wanted to make some changes. The North Carolina sixth-grader couldn’t run and keep up with the other kids at recess. He didn’t feel good. When he was ten, he made up his mind to be healthier and he wanted his family to do the same. He’s chronicled his family’s month-long journey to healthier living in the new book “Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthier Family.”

I love the idea that kids are part of the solution, and that’s the topic of my post this week for WebMD’s Real Life Nutrition blog. Kids learn to eat what their parents eat, and their habits and attitudes about food tend to mirror their parents. But sometimes parents can be inspired to change their habits with a little help from their kids.

This little family project has gotten a lot of attention lately, with a feature in the New York Times and Today show. Marshall also has his own website and YouTube channel, which features a series of documentary-style videos of his journey.

We need more kids to be the catalyst for change if we’re going to avoid the grim future predicted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is an obesity rate of 42 percent by the year 2030. That’s about 32 million more Americans who will become obese.

Yet, like this new book reinforces, the answer is not about a special “diet” or a strict regimen. It’s about cooking more at home (with your kids) and enjoying real, wholesome, nourishing meals.

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