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Programming note: CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta follows Pedro Rampolla's progress on "American Morning's" "New You Resolution," Tuesdays, 6-10 a.m. ET.

Chef motivates kids to eat healthy

Pedro Rampolla eats a healthy dinner that includes fish and salad.



New You Resolution

(CNN) -- An air traffic controller in the Wyoming Air National Guard, Pedro Rampolla says he hopes to guide his family to better health.

A history of family heart trouble worries Rampolla and his wife, Denise -- something they aim to address in the "New You Resolution" program.

Doctors say the two should change their steady diet of fast food and frozen entrees, for their own good and for that of their children.

Here's Rampolla's take on his typical lunch: "Fast food, Burger King, McDonald's."

The complicating factor in this plan is the family's busy life. Rampolla recently returned from Iraq and is planning to serve on the local school board in addition to working full time.

He and his wife are also raising four children, ages 7 to 14, all of whom play on soccer teams.

Here are Rampolla's goals for the "New You Resolution":

1. Keep a diary to figure out food pitfalls.

2. Slow down the pace of family activity.

3. Leverage his military discipline into personal dietary discipline.

February 28 update

Throughout "New You," one of Pedro and Denise Rampollas' challenges has been getting their kids to eat the healthy food they've been serving.

They got a little help recently, when Chef Billy of Cooking Light magazine shared some words of encouragement with their kids.

" 'Eat smart,' " he said. "Let's do it. And Dr. Sanjay's not going away. He's going to be back to check on you guys. And you don't want to mess with the doctor."

February 21 update

Rampolla didn't come into "New You" looking to lose weight or slim down. But he said that after seven weeks on the program, his clothes are fitting better.

The key has been an effort to keep his portion sizes small, which he acknowledged is difficult.

"Its just that concerted effort, that gotta do it, gotta do it," Rampolla said.

February 14 update

Pedro and Denise Rampolla are finding time for regular workouts, but eating healthy food on a regular basis has been more difficult.

Their secret weapon for keeping each other in line? Guilt.

"I know she's caught me a couple of times, like 'Hey, you didn't take your lunch, so what are you eating?' " Rampolla said.

February 7 update

Rampolla's dietician wants him to try eating six small meals per day rather than two or three big ones.

"Keep feeding the system, you keep it burning," Marsha Siegel told him.

But Rampolla doesn't find these small meals satisfying, so he has been eating larger portions than his dietician advises.

January 31 update

Balancing work, family and activities remains a struggle for Pedro and Denise Rampolla.

Pedro has been eating healthier, though, and it's been 16 days since any Rampolla has had fast food.

January 24 update

The Rampollas are finding that preparing healthy food can take longer than serving packaged fare.

To compensate, they are trying to plan their meals in advance.

"We can probably look at a whole month in advance and say, 'All right this day, this day, this day, this day,' " Pedro Rampolla said.

He is offering to help more in the kitchen -- to his wife's surprise.

January 17 update

The Rampollas got fitness and cooking lessons in New York at the beginning of the "New You Resolution." They learned a recipe for fast and light lasagna that can feed their family of six.

Because Pedro Rampolla is in decent shape from his military service, he said he hopes that eating more fresh foods will help him overcome his family's history of heart disease. He would like to persuade his kids to try these foods, too.

"When the kids don't go along with our food choices, then we end up going with theirs," Rampolla said.

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