Healthy Habits for 2013: Teaching Your Children the Importance of Health and Fitness

It is often that a new year means a new start and new goals for the upcoming months! My co-workers and I have recently had the family exerciseprivilege of attending a presentation related to how to improve upon the foods we are consuming and the exercises we are participating in so that we can increase our energy levels and overall health. I want to share this knowledge with you. As adults (parents, teachers, therapists), we have a huge influence on the lifestyles the children around us are going to live. We need to make sure that we are teaching our children well so they can learn to make their own healthy choices in the future. Here are a few simple facts to keep in mind for yourself as well as your family:

5 Tips For A Healthier Lifestyle:

  • When you are grocery shopping or cooking a recipe at home, the most important item to lconsider the serving size that the nutrition label provides. This will not only help you determine if there are enough servings for your entire family, but it will also help you determine how much of an item you should actually be consuming (e.g. ½ cup compared to 1 cup is a big difference)!
  • As a general rule, try to fill your grocery cart with items that are primarily from the perimeter of the grocery store, including fresh produce (e.g. fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and poultry). This will help your family eat more fresh food instead of processed items.
  • As a reminder, vegetables offer an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals;however, when you overcook your vegetables, you will not get as much vitamins out of them. Try to eat the majority of your vegetables raw instead of overcook in order to gain the greatest benefits.
  • Keep in mind that our bodies are designed to consume food. We need food for energy as well as for survival. With this in mind, rather than instill the newest fad diet into your family’s lifestyle, try to focus on the importance of eating significant amounts of protein and other foods that will give your body the nourishment it needs to make it through the entire day. It is recommended to never skip meals or count calories too intensely.
  • Encourage your family to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This can easily be done by sending a water bottle with your child to school in his/her lunchbox or backpack. Water keeps us hydrated and helps our bodies run more smoothly.

As you see above, there are many simple tips that we can use in order to live a healthier lifestyle as well as encourage those around us to be healthier too, especially children. Try implementing some of the strategies above and see if you notice a difference in your overall energy level! In addition, stay tuned for my next blog regarding fun ways to get your children to be more active. As always, if you have any questions or concerns or wonder how this can be more individualized for your child and family, please reach out to one of our nutrition therapists for additional guidance.


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