By: Loren Barrera, Baptist Health Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by: Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD
Edited by Andi Champion, CHEF
Have You Tried Our Healthy Habits?
Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. Our CHEF Healthy Habits are simple steps your family can take that will help contribute to their long-term health. Your family might already be following these habits without even knowing!
- I fill half my plate with colorful fruits and vegetables at every meal.
Each different color of produce contains different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Enjoying a variety of colors at each meal is the best way to ensure your body get the most health benefits. If getting your child to eat their vegetables is a challenge, involving them in the meal preparation process can help encourage them to try new foods. Ask them to help by measuring ingredients, washing fruits or vegetables, and cutting ingredients with a kid-safe knife. Another way to help your child build a colorful plate is to give them a choice. For example, ask your child if they would prefer to have roasted bell peppers or grilled broccoli at dinner, or let them build a salad for the family by picking ingredients using the colors of the rainbow. By making it seem like it was their decision, they may be more likely to try something new.
2. I eat a healthy breakfast each day.
Starting your day with a wholesome, balanced breakfast provides you and your family with the energy you need to conquer the day. Aim to include protein and whole grains in your breakfast to keep you fueled and full until lunch times. If weekday mornings are a busy time for your family, smoothies or overnight oats can be a great option. You can also prep a healthy breakfast such as frittata, tofu scramble, or breakfast sandwiches that can be enjoyed throughout the week. Just heat the dish back up in the microwave and you’ll be good to go!
3. I drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.
Water is one of the body’s most essential nutrients. Every cell and tissue in the body needs it to function. Staying hydrated will keep our brains alert and energy levels stable. Skip the sugar sweetened beverages such as soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks and hydrate the healthy way by drinking water. Carrying a water bottle with you throughout the day will remind you to keep drinking and make it convenient to stay hydrated. If you’re bored with plain water, make your own infused water at home! Simply add your favorite fruits and herbs to a pitcher of water and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator so the flavors can combine. The combinations are endless!
4. I sit less and move more.
It’s important to limit your screen time and to play or be active for 60 minutes or more each day. Participating in strength and flexibility activities at least three days a week helps your body promote growth and prevent injuries. You can go for a walk, play at the park, bike ride, or dance to music. Try limiting television time at home and set up goals of how much physical activity your family would like to strive for each week. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week and children 6 years or older should get an hour or more each day.
5. I cook and eat at home at least five times a week.
Cooking is a fun activity for the entire family. Encourage your child to join you in the kitchen and try making a recipe that everyone in the family can help prepare. From washing produce to chopping vegetables, there is a job for everyone. After dinner is ready, use this time to bond as a family by turning off devices and sitting together at the table to enjoy the meal. If weekdays are a hectic time for your family, you can try batch cooking on the weekends or meal prepping food ahead of time. You can then freeze and reheat the food when you are ready to eat. Planning meals a head of time will help your family know what to buy at the grocery store. It may even help reduce those impromptu stops to fast food restaurants.
1. How much physical activity do adults need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm. Published October 7, 2020.
2. How much physical activity do children need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm. Published October 7, 2020.