Tips, Tools and Activities
Welcome to 2017! It’s a new year and the perfect time to incorporate new healthy habits with your family. Have you made a new year’s resolution? Tell someone about it! Sharing with your family can help you stick to your goals. Better yet, get together and create a family resolution for the year. Some ideas include making a new a recipe every week and preparing that meal as a family, or designing a fun, active, indoor game the whole family can play, or starting a “family book club” and reading together each day. Write down your resolutions and post them up where everyone in your family can read them. This public posting can serve as a friendly reminder. At the end of each month, hold a family meeting to talk about how it went, what your family liked or didn’t like, and what new challenge they are excited to try the next month.
Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season may come easier during the summer and early fall months, but as temperatures drop in the winter, it may be more difficult. For most of the United States, the growing season stretches from spring through fall, and we can see what foods are in season by looking for sales at the grocery store or shopping at the farmer’s market. Eating seasonally is a way to save money! We can choose fruits and vegetables that are in season all year long, even in the winter. Though maybe not locally grown, foods in season during the winter include bananas, oranges, grapefruit, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, beets, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash and more!
Creating healthy sleep habits can make a big impact on your familyâ€™s health. Use this month to build a better bedtime routine for the whole family. Choose a time in the evening, at least an hour before bedtime, when all screens are to be turned off. A bonus to this winding down process would include all electronics being stored out of the bedroom. Find relaxing activities you can do together to prepare your bodies for sleep. Try stretching or doing yoga (get comfy and stretch in your pajamas!), drinking a warm cup of herbal tea, reading a short story or a chapter of a book, or just sharing news from the day and enjoying one anotherâ€™s company. These calming activities can help improve your familyâ€™s quality of sleep and ensure everyone is well rested and ready to go in the morning.
Q: How can my family tame those post-holiday sugar cravings?
A: Along with the holiday season come sweets, baked goods, and loads of sugar. As we enjoy these holiday goodies with family and friends, we may overdo it and continue having sometime foods all the time. One way to curb sugar cravings is to move the sweets, baked goods, and cookies out of the home. In addition to this strategy, make sure there are healthy snacks that are easy to grab from the counter or at eye level in the fridge. Slice up fruit and veggies ahead of time. Have seeds, whole grains (i.e., plain popcorn) on hand (and visible) to help with the healthy choice being the easy choice.