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Parents hold key to healthy eating habits

Posted by Matt Pepin, Staff  September 9, 2011 12:56 PM

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Itís hard to believe that itís September and summerís almost over!

Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend. Even though the weather hasnít been great recently, Iím looking forward to sneakiní in a couple more BBQs while the days are still long and before it gets too cold.

Iíve had some time this summer to sharpen my grilling skills and perfect my go-to recipes, but Iíve also tried a lot of new ones. I grill a lot of different stuff: salmon, ribs, chicken, shish-kabobs, grilled veggies Ė I could give my boy Ming Tsai a run for his money! A lot of what I cook is for guests when we have a big BBQ, and I enjoy that. I like watching my friends and family enjoy a healthy, home-cooked meal. Comfort food doesnít have to be junk food, and there are plenty of ways to eat right. If I can do it Ė so can yaíll.

So you know Iím always preachiní about healthy eating through my Truth on Health Campaign, but I really believe the best way to make that happen for our kids is through parents. Parents and guardians set the example for their children Ė and that lasts forever. And we all know itís real hard to break a bad habit. So many kids learn poor eating habits early on, which can carry over into their lifestyles as they get older Ö and thatís why you gotta start them young and set a good example for your child. This will become part of their routine and their attitude, and that way theyíre more likely to stay on the right track for the rest of their lives.

My wife and I are real conscious about what the kids eat, and it starts with what we buy, ícause if you donít bring it into the house they canít eat it! Itís not a diet Ė itís a lifestyle. Parents really do have that control, and it makes such a difference. So we bring in the food we want our kids to eat: the fruit, veggies, fish, chicken, and create the habit for them so when they get older, itís an automatic way of life.

Donít get me wrong Ė I let my girls eat ice cream now and then and my favorite, chocolate cake, because you canít deprive them, but itís all about moderation and letting them know that itís a special treat, and not an everyday thing. So go ahead and have that pizza party, enjoy it! But remember, thereís lots of food that tastes good and is healthy too - there are healthy alternatives for just about everything.

It all starts with you.

175x60piercelogo.jpgPaul Pierce's Truth on Health campaign empowers and encourages young people to lead healthier lives by providing them with the information, resources, and tools necessary to become more active and physically fit. To learn more, visit

Follow Paul Pierce on Twitter @PaulPierce34 and @TruthonHealth and on Facebook at

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Paul Pierce is the captain of the Boston Celtics. Pierce has spent his entire career with the Celtics since being drafted in 1998 out of Kansas, and led them to their 17th NBA Championship in 2008, when he was the NBA Finals MVP. More »

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