Childhood obesity has been such a hot topic recently. Why? Well childhood obesity has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. In 2012, more than 1/3 of children and adolescents were overweight and obese. So you begin to wonder, what is the rate in Hawaii? In 2012, 23.6% of our children were obese. We also found that only 15 % of our adolescents ate vegetables more than 3 times per day and 1 out of 5 adolescents drank a soda at least one time per day. As we know, food is a big part of our lives so it is very important to learn how food gives us energy, minerals and nutrients. However, food can also be a part of our social lives without being harmful. Before you eat, think about what types of food and how much food should go on your plate. Have you ever seen MyPlate? Go to MyPlate.gov and take a look. Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables; this is a great way to get in nutrients and fiber! Try new vegetables as your sides such as asparagus, kale or eggplant. A quarter of your plate should be grains. You want to make at least half of your grains whole grains which give you those B vitamins and fiber as well. Whole grains include brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc. Also, try to vary your protein food choices. Try grilling, baking and broiling and limiting/avoiding fried foods. And lastly, try switching to skim or 1% milk. These are all general healthy tips for you and your family. Our children are important, if we start slowly and support each other, it will be easier to develop those healthy habits.