Tips, Tools and Activities
Setting realistic and attainable goals is one of the best ways to adopt new healthy habits. Some examples of goals may be: reducing sugar-sweetened beverages, increasing vegetable intake, or eating fast food less often. These goals can be completely unique to your family’s needs and can be approached in a number of ways. A realistic goal often starts off with small steps and progresses over time to form a habit. Your family might start off with replacing soda with water at a couple of meals a week, and then the family begins to replace soda more often than a couple of meals a week. As your family continues to practice this replacement goal, it has the potential to become habit and the first choice is water at all meals. Choose one goal for your family to work on during the holiday season and work together to achieve this goal.
Trying new recipes and exploring new foods as a family are great ways to eat healthier during the holiday season. Eating a variety of foods from each food group is important to our overall health. When we strive to eat a variety of vegetables, proteins, and other healthy foods, we ensure that our bodies are getting a wide range of nutrients with different health benefits. Try foods from different cultures, experiment with cooking different vegetables, and have fun with incorporating new foods into your family’s holiday events.
Adequate sleep is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. While the sun is hiding more during the winter months, we can keep our moods boosted and energy high by making sure we are well-rested every night. Screen-time activities at night, such as television or scrolling through your phone, can make it more challenging to fall asleep. While you are exploring new activities to try as a family, try replacing some screen time with calming activities. Tackle a new puzzle each week, or choose a book to read together as a family each night. Giving our brains a break at the end of a busy day allows us to calm down and prepare for a good night’s sleep, which helps to keep us healthy.
Q: It is a challenge to get outside as the temperature drops, how important is it that our physical activity be outdoors?
A: Be creative in what the outdoor activity is during the cooler months. Getting outdoors can improve our mood and increase our energy levels. Being outside together as a family benefits the entire home. Think about dressing in layers, wearing water resistant jackets and coats, using umbrellas, hats, gloves, and preparing for whatever mother nature may bring our way. When dressed appropriately, you might be surprised how much more time we can play outside. Plan an evening walk through the neighborhood and enjoy the beautiful holiday decorations together! Dress for the weather, wear layers and keep your bodies hydrated during the winter months as well.