America is getting fatter and Pennsylvania is helping to lead the way as one of the nation’s top 20 “most obese” states.\nOur busy lifestyles encourage unhealthy eating habits, like eating on the run and high-fat\/high-sugar snacking. But with a little effort, you can gradually transform your family’s diet from “fat” to “fit” with these quick healthy eating tips!\nStart your day off right\nBreakfast is the most important meal of the day. Kids who eat breakfast \u2014 especially those packed with “brain food” like protein, vitamin C, and omega 3 \u2014 are more alert and focused in school; adults have more energy and concentrate better.\n\nIs cereal your family’s breakfast of choice? Look for low-sugar, high-fiber options and top with fresh fruit and low-fat milk (1% or fat-free).\nGet your creative juices flowing with easy-to-make fruit and yogurt smoothies.\nCrunched for time? Grab a hard-boiled egg and toast, or top an apple or banana with peanut butter for a tasty “breakfast to go.”\n\nThink smart when it comes to fast-food lunches\nNo time to pack your own lunch? Use these healthy strategies when dining out:\n\nSay no to fried, saut\u00e9ed, or creamy foods. Opt for roasted, grilled, broiled, steamed, or baked meals.\nBeware of add-ons (like mayo, butter, and salad dressing) that quickly increase calorie counts.\nReplace sodas with water or fat-free or 1% milk. Even diet sodas can be bad for you!\nGo online for the nutrition information on your favorite meal. Don’t just focus on calories: look at factors like fat and sodium content.\n\nMake dinner a family affair\nEating together as a family offers countless benefits \u2014 including serving more balanced, nutritious meals and the chance for parents to serve as “healthy eating” role models.\n\nTalk to your children about portion control, with fruits and vegetables\u00a0comprising half of every plate.\nReduce the amount of meat your family eats by gradually introducing healthy alternatives into your meals, like fish, whole grains, and beans.\nLook for seasonal produce that is grown locally. In the fall, that means vegetables like pumpkins and squash, and fruits like apples and pears.\n\nInterested in learning more about nutritious eating? Check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new guidelines at www.choosemyplate.gov.\nFor more tips on eating healthy, visit the UPMC BodyChangers website.