These 10 simple tips will help you and your family live a healthy lifestyle.
1. Start with yourself – be a positive role model for the kids, siblings, and everyone at home.
2. Do not buy “junk food” – If it’s not at home, you are less likely to eat it.
3. Have healthy snacks readily available– For example, washed and cut fresh fruit in the refrigerator, baby carrots and fat-free ranch dressing, fat-free yogurt, home-made smoothie, whole-grain pretzels, 100% fruit juice popsicle for the kids, etc. When I am hungry, I want something right away and it helps to have veggies and fruits that are ready to eat.
4. Stay hydrated! Many times we feel hungry but we are really thirsty. Drink at least 1500 ml of water a day (that is 3 of these water bottles).
5. On the road? Have healthy snacks (my favorite: a bag of mixed nuts) with you so you don’t have to stop at a convenience store or pickup fast food. Also, never leave your home without a water bottle.
6. Don’t skip meals – waiting to eat till you are extremely hunger can cause you to over eat.
7. Avoid or limit sodas – these are empty calories that can easily be avoided. Get in the habit of drinking water, milk or 100% fruit juice.
8. Avoid or limit fast food – if kids insist on fast foods then help them choose the healthy sides from the menu. For example, instead of soda they can order milk and instead of fries they can order apple slices.
9. Park your car farther from the store entrance – every step counts!
10. Do physical activity together as a family – go to the park regularly or play your favorite sport together.
Remember: no one has to be deprived of their favorite chocolate as long as it is in moderation. There is nothing wrong with enjoying these foods once in a while.