A Resolution for A Happy, Healthy New Year
January 9, 2013 | In: Child Nutrition
I am finishing up the final read of Fearless Feeding, or what the publisher calls the ‘proofs’. I can see the finish line! The next endeavor is to spread the word, so if you can help me do this, I’d be grateful. Use your social media: Facebook, Twitter, Linked In–even the picket fence–tell everyone! Send them to the website to get a glimpse of what Fearless Feeding is all about, and sign up for The Fearless Feeding Times.
Meanwhile, I am getting a little respite from blogging this week from Everyday Health! This is a guest post by Hillary Monroe, MS RD LDN, Registered Dietitian and writer for Everyday Health, an online health news resource, and its Calorie Counter section.
At this point, the holidays are officially over. The presents have been opened, the confetti has cleared and now it’s time to get serious about those resolutions. Yes, resolutions can get a bad reputation for the pressure and potential for failure, but here’s an idea: let’s make this year different by getting a jump on them right away. One of the most common resolutions is to eat and be healthier. Keeping in mind that the most successful resolutions tend to be simple, measurable and easily track-able, let’s tackle healthy habits in 2013 together!
First to get a jumpstart on being healthier, we need to lay some groundwork.
Make it measurable. Decide what you can reasonably hope to change about your eating and write it down! Better yet, enlist a friend to help keep you accountable.
Start small and build up. It’s unreasonable to think that as of January 1 you and your family will undergo a complete lifestyle change and stick to it forever. A better idea is to start with small goals that eventually lead to your changed lifestyle and goal.
Now we can draw our roadmap. I encourage you to start small by adding one of these healthy eating components, in no particular order, each week or as you feel ready. In a few months, you and your family can look back and see how far you’ve come.
1. Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast helps your kids to be more awake during school and keeps you alert at work. Plus, this also helps control your hunger and keep you on track with your diet.
2. Fish. Chalk full of the good kind of fats, fish is great addition to any meal. Aim to cook it twice a week for dinner.
3. Try something new. For everyone, trying new foods can be fun and exciting. Take some time at your local grocery store perusing the produce aisle. See something you aren’t familiar with like a pummelo or a purple potato? Try it. Adding variety to your diet is a sure way to make sure you get all the nutrients your body needs.
4. Swap grains. The recommendation is to make half of the grains you typically eat whole –that breaks down to 3 whole grain servings per day. You can experiment with whole grain pasta, brown rice or many brands of cereal.
5. Physical activity. It’s fine if you prefer to hit the gym, but playing games outside or going on a walk with your family is just as good. Aim to fit this in three days a week at first and build up from there.
6. Cut back on sodium. Becoming familiar with how much (<2300 mg for the average person) is a good idea. If you’re reaching for fresh or frozen foods more often, you’ll find you’re already well on your way to decreasing your sodium intake.
7. Eat in. Make it a point to cook and eat together as a family for at least 3 meals, or more, per week.
8. Go vegetarian. Not everyday, but incorporating one vegetarian meal a week helps make sure you’re getting your fair share of veggies. Beans, nuts and seeds are all great sources of protein.
Make your resolution measurable by writing down your goals; make a plan by starting small and incorporating one small change at a time. The healthy habits you establish will soon be routine!