(WFXR) — September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and around one-third of children and teens in the US are either overweight or obese, according to Virginia Tech expert, Vivica Kraak, who is an associate professor of food and nutrition policy.

“Obesity can lead to a number of health conditions like type two diabetes and heart disease,” said Kraak.

So, what can you do as a parent or guardian to keep your kids healthy?  Well experts WFXR talked with gave some tips.

1. Develop healthy eating habits in kids at a young age. 

  • This means introducing them to fruits and vegetables and making those healthy foods their go to snacks.

2. Keep your kids active. 

  • Try to get them up and going for at least 60 minutes a day.  Whether that’s going for a walk or playing outside with friends.

3. Make sure kids are getting enough sleep.

  • Kraak says a good way to make sure this is happening is to keep TVs and computers out of younger kid’s rooms.

Kraak says once kids get a taste of things like french fries, it can be easy for them to get hooked.

“There’s a biological preference for salt, fat and sugar,” said Kraak. “So we need to work extra hard to reward children for making the healthy choices.”

It can be tough to get kids to eat healthy so Kraak recommends hiding fruits and vegetables in a smoothie, or buying one of those cool portion plates that shows how much of every food group kids should be eating.