Tag: adult

A {healthy} routine…what foods do YOU feed your family?

A {healthy} routine…what foods do YOU feed your family?

Whether your family consists of kids, you’re a newly married couple, or you are a baby boomer near or in retirement, a great way to keep up with your health is by using those around you to keep you in check.  It doesn’t mean that they hold you accountable for what you put in your mouth, but it might mean that the reason you serve healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables with meals is to be a mentor to inspire and provide an example to the people in your life (kids, sisters/brothers, cousins, spouse, etc).  It means YOU care enough to help show those around you that through healthy eating and regular exercise you decrease your chances for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Consider making health a daily family event or routine.  For example, make dinner an occasion where you make a protein, carb, and vegetable side.  You can help your kids learn about their food choices by placing foods in categories that are easy to understand such as “Go”, “Slow”, and “Whoa” which is used in school heath curriculum.  For example, fruits and vegetables in their raw form are usually “Go” foods (eat most often, almost always) while canned fruits in light syrup or frozen vegetables would fall under “Slow” foods (eat less often, sometimes) because a lot of the nutritional value in these foods lessens once they are altered.  Examples of “Whoa” foods (eat least often, once in awhile) might include donuts, cake, cookies, chips, and other foods that are high in sugar and sodium.  Help teach those around you how to categorize their foods.  Make this a fun activity for kids (or adults) by cutting out foods they love and asking them to place each picture under the correct category.  This helps them learn while providing a great chart to hang on the refrigerator as a reminder.  We all need a reminder every now and then and what better place than on the front of the refrigerator so you are constantly reminded every time you open it?! 😉 Once you understand the idea of categorizing individual foods such as breads, cheese, meats, pasta, etc. into “Go”, “Slow”, and “Whoa” you can take it a step further by combining food groups (as we often see when we make meals).  For example, a bagel pizza or English muffin pizza made with low fat cheese or vegetable lasagna/pasta made with a red sauce would be considered “Go” meals while macaroni and cheese or pizza would fall into the “Slow” meals group and deep dish sausage pizza or fried chicken with gravy would fall into the “Slow” meals group.

Remember that your attitude toward food, nutrition, exercise, and fitness impacts your children, your spouse, and those around you so make sure you are the positive influence that helps them stay healthy!  For example, take a 30 minute walk in the evenings with your spouse or take a family bike ride.  Think of fun activities that allow you to make memories and are fun so that your children, spouse, and family have a positive experience as it relates to exercise.  Making a positive association with exercise and healthy foods is very important, if not vital.  This helps you, your children, your spouse, and family recognize the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise while also making them feel like it is easy, fun, and stress-free.  After all, remember that health starts with family and friends because children, friends, and family often echo the behavior of people they are surrounded by.  Be the difference in your family and group of friends to show those around you how to make health a priority through regular exercise and healthy eating.


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