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10 easy tips for a healthier family lifestyle

Joy Bauer, NBC's Today show resident nutrition expert

Joy Bauer, NBC's Today show resident nutrition expert offers tips on how to help your family lead a healthy lifestyle. Credit: Fotolia

With the warm weather, there's no doubt that many kids are enjoying the time outdoors.  But once school starts, will your kids still stay active despite homework and studying?

According to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children ages 6 to 17 need 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day. That means, said a Kansas State University child physical activity expert, that schools should be providing a minimum of 30 minutes during the school day for physical education and/or recess. The same holds true for after-school programs.

To ensure that your kids are staying active, Joy Bauer, resident nutrition expert for NBC's Today show offers these 10 simple tips to help your family live a healthier lifestyle.

1. Get moving as a family. Go to a park, ride bikes or play ball or tag in your front yard.

2. Snack  strategically. Try to leave a two hour gap between snacks and meal so your kids are hungry, interested in real food and more apt to taste new things when lunch or dinner rolls around.

3. Make the TV room a no-eating zone.

4. Sign your entire family up for a charity walk. It's a great way to spend time together, enjoy the outdoors and support a meaningful cause.

5. Give your kids an energizing start with a protein-rich breakfast. Try scrambled eggs with low-fat cheese, a nonfat yogurt with fruit or apple slices with peanut butter.

6. Set up an obstacle course indoors or outdoors using everyday objects. Time everyone in the family to see who can finish the fastest.

7. Join a team -- softball, swimming, dance, track -- anything goes. You'll meet new friends, enjoy fun competition and dedicate more time to getting fit.

8. Whenever you go anywhere as a family, park as far away from the entrance as possible. You'll get in plenty of exercise and every little bit helps. And whenever possible, take the stairs.

9. Give produce a starring role in your home.

10. Remember you don't have to spend a lot of money to get physically fit and healthy as a family. It just takes some planning, motivation and creativity.

Bauer also teamed up with Henkel and the Henkel Gets Kids Fit Program, in which schools can win $25,000 cash to use toward anything fitness-related. Nominate your school, here.

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