By Katilyn Thomas
Happy National Nutrition Month! We know that navigating family life and managing busy schedules while trying to be healthy can seem easier said than done. However, it is possible to make big shifts in family health by creating healthy habits through small daily actions.
In honor of National Nutrition Month, here are five habits to help improve your nutrition this month:
- Include a fruit or a veggie in every snack. Snacking on fruits and veggies makes it easy to meet the “5 a day” guideline. Try combinations like carrots and hummus, apples with peanut butter, or grapes with cheese as a way to incorporate protein into snack time as well. This ensures that snacks will keep you full until the next meal.
- Use MyPlate as a template for meals at home and on the go. Most people eat plenty of protein and grains, but not enough fruits and veggies. Make a habit of including more fruits and veggies at most meals!
- Experiment with more plant-based meals. Vegetables, beans, whole grains, and lentils are all great substitutes instead of meat and can be cost effective and better for your overall health. Try one meatless meal per week to start!
- Involve the family in meal planning. Planning ahead makes it easier to be healthy on busy days, and having kids participate in meal planning means they are more likely to eat the food prepared for them. Ask your kids their favorite meals or snacks, or ask them if they have a favorite fruit or veggie they’d like to have in their lunch box.
- Be active. Physical activity has many health benefits. Start with 10 minutes at a time and build yourself up to 2 hours and 30 minutes a week (for adults). Try a walk after dinner or play a game of catch if you’re not a fan of going to a gym!
Remember, small daily actions turn into long-lasting habits which affect your health for the long run. Try incorporating one habit at a time (or focus on one per week) in order to create lasting healthy habits.