Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

by Jennifer Trachtenberg


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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and chronic adult diseases, from diabetes and depression to heart trouble and osteoporosis.

But by making simple changes now, you can help your children avoid these problems later. Good Kids, Bad Habits supplies the tools you need, starting with the unique RealAge® Healthy Kids Test. Based on the proven RealAge Test, which measures biological—not calendar—age, the Healthy Kids Test reveals where children are doing fine and where they're headed for health trouble.

Regardless of the problem—from sleeplessness to video-game addiction—Dr. Jen has seen and solved it all, working with parents and kids together. Her insightful tips, preventive steps, and kid smarts, learned from working with thousands of children, make this book invaluable. It will help your kids grow into the healthiest adults they can be—while still allowing them to be kids.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061127755
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/27/2007
Series: RealAge Series
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Trachtenberg, M.D., is chief pediatric officer for, an attending physician at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and the mother of three. In her private practice in Manhattan, Dr. Jen takes care of kids from birth through college.

Jennifer Trachtenberg, M.D., es pediatra, médica a cargo en el Centro Médico Mount Sinai en la ciudad de Nueva York, miembro del Consejo Científico de RealAge y madre de tres hijos. En su consultorio de medicina privada en Manhattan, la Dra. Jen atiende a chicos desde que nacen hasta que entran en la universidad.

Read an Excerpt

Good Kids, Bad Habits

The RealAge ® Guide to Raising Healthy Children
By Jennifer Trachtenberg

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Jennifer Trachtenberg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061127755

Chapter One

Take the Test

How Healthy Are Your Child's Habits?
Take the RealAge Healthy Kids Test and Find Out

Imagine you've got this book balanced on your knee at an "in between" moment—in between dropping off and picking up your kids, in between dinner and bedtime, in between laundry and playtime. And you're thinking, Yeah, right, Dr. Jen, of course, I want to be a better parent, a better role model, but where the heck do I begin?

Got a pencil? First, let's figure out how healthy your child's habits are with the RealAge Healthy Kids Test. If you have more than one child, use different colored pencils or pens; kids' habits aren't the same, even when they live in the same house.

Okay, here's how the test works. A series of questions probes how well you and your child are working together as a team to establish good habits in areas ranging from overall health and nutrition to fitness and safety. For each section you'll get a score between 1 and 10; average those scores to get your overall score. The higher it is, the better you're doing as a parent, and the better your child's potential is to be healthy now—and for years to come. (To have all the calculationsdone for you, go to and take the test online.)

Just remember that this one-of-a-kind test looks at health habits, not actual health. It assesses only things you and your child can control. A preexisting health problem—say, asthma—won't hurt your score; however, not properly managing this condition could lower it.

Once you know each child's score, you can predict—and this part might make you both excited and a little nervous—what your child's RealAge will be as an adult. As I said earlier, RealAge is the biological age of a person's body, which is heavily based on how well it's maintained. The healthy habits that are established now in many ways can predict your child's health and life expectancy. That's why this test is so important.

Also, try to update your child's test score every ninety days (and redo your own RealAge test regularly, too). That way, you can monitor the progress your child and you are making and identify any problem areas that need attention.

So, let's get going on the reason we're both here—giving your child the best chance possible for a long, healthy, and happy life.


Excerpted from Good Kids, Bad Habits by Jennifer Trachtenberg Copyright © 2007 by Jennifer Trachtenberg. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Wake-Up Call
Foreword   Michael F. Roizen, M.D.   Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.     vii
Introduction     xi
Take The Test: How Healthy Are Your Child's Habits? Take the RealAge Healthy Kids Test and Find Out     1
How To Turn Bad Habits Into Good Ones
Eat Up: Creating Healthy Food Habits That Will Last a Lifetime     33
Shape Up: Getting Kids to Play More than Video Games     84
Spiff Up: Convincing Kids That Being Clean-Teeth to Toes-Is Worth the Effort     108
Smarten Up: Teaching Kids Good Homework Habits     139
Chin Up: Routines That Build Up Your Child's Self-Esteem     176
Gear Up: Habits That Keep Kids from Getting Hurt     203
Check Up: Staying on Top of Your Child's Health     241
Conclusion: Live it Up: Looking Forward to a Healthy Future     281
Boot Up: Online Tools, Resources, and Inspiration to Help Your Family Grow Healthier     285
Selected References     293
Acknowledgments     301
Index     303

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