Family New Year’s Resolutions

 

HappyNewYearVegetables

 

Infographics_Obese-buildings_cropIf you take all of the 5 – 17 year olds in Douglas County that are overweight or obese, you could fill the CenturyLink Center AND the Civic Auditorium. The good news is that childhood obesity CAN be prevented! There are lots of ways to be healthy, but the most important thing to do is to be a good role model for the children in your lives.

The beginning of a new year is often a time to focus on fixing bad habits. But this year, we’re giving you SIX RESOLUTIONS to help you focus on adding healthy habits to your life. Pick one, two… or even all of them. This isn’t about getting overwhelmed with a complete life change. This is about making simple changes to your life and the life of your family, so you can live a healthier one.

In 2016, as a family, resolve to:

  • Make the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® countdown part of your daily routine.
  • Make eating breakfast a priority every day.
  • Try one new fruit or vegetable every week.
  • Take the Family Dining Pledge to cook and eat one more meal at home together every week.
  • Try one new physical activity together each month.
  • Prepare a healthy food or drink item for celebrations throughout the year.

 

Make the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® countdown part of our daily routine

The countdown is simple. Follow these guidelines to live a healthier life every day:

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • 4 servings of water a day
  • 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • 2 hours or less of screen time a day
  • 1 or more hours of physical activity a day

You can find great tools and resources to help you track the countdown items and share them with others.

This message was created by the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC).  5-4-3-2-1 Go!® is a registered trademark and Copyright © 2004 Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. All rights reserved. www.clocc.net

 

Make eating breakfast a priority every day

Remember the old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Well, things haven’t changed! National studies show that children perform better in school when they start off their day with some food in their bellies — especially the healthy kind. It kick starts their metabolism each morning and gets their brains ready to focus and learn.

Parents have a lot of things to worry about in the mornings. Getting everyone dressed and out the door in the morning can be hectic enough, so check out the breakfast programs offered at local schools including the Grab n Go Breakfast program at the Omaha Public Schools. Together in the classroom, children enjoy nutritionally well-balanced foods served to them right there at the start of each day while the teacher takes attendance, collects homework or teaches a short lesson plan.

Or maybe breakfast time is the only time that your family can actually sit down and have a meal together. For tasty breakfast recipe ideas, visit DairyMakesSense.com. Whole Foods also offers a great, free resource for families to use to plan healthy breakfasts and more.

 

Try one new fruit or vegetable every week

It’s easy to get in a rut and eat the same foods all the time. Set a good example for your children and try out some new foods yourself! There may just be something out there that you’re missing out on.

For introductions to new foods and how to prepare and cook with them, follow the Nutrition Know How blog by UNL Extension in Douglas/Sarpy Counties.

UNL Extension also offers nutrition education at eight Healthy Neighborhood Stores located in Omaha neighborhoods where access to healthy foods like fresh produce, low-fat milk and lean protein are limited. These food demonstrations show store patrons that healthy foods are available and affordable and provide information, food samples and recipes. Find the food demonstration schedule here.

 

Cook and eat one more meal at home together every week

Kids who eat at home with their families more than four nights per week are more likely to try new foods and on average consume more nutrient-rich foods like low-fat dairy, whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean meats. In addition to the nutritional benefits, family dining has other benefits like reducing stress, helping increase school performance and improving family communication.

When you take the Family Dining Pledge to cook and eat at home more as a family, you will receive monthly newsletters, free local food and activity offers and access to expert tips and recipes that help you make it happen.

Need help getting started with shopping on a budget or learning how to buy healthier foods? VNA Cooking Matters empowers families to make healthy meals while on a limited budget by offering free store tours as well as classes providing nutrition education and cooking opportunities. You can also find healthy recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $10 under the “Recipes” tab on their website. Get access to those recipes even easier by downloading the Cooking Matters mobile app, which allows users to filter recipes by categories, like diabetes-friendly, one-dish meals, kid-approved and search over 90 chef-developed meals.

Whole Foods also offers free store tours with their Health Starts Here® program. Pre-registration is required and class is limited to 10 participants.

 

Try one new physical activity together each month

Set up a bad mitten net in the backyard or join the local YMCA. Kids need to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day to live a healthy life. Plus, it’s a great habit to continue into adulthood!

The winter months can leave kids spending too much time in front of the television or computer. Screen time should be limited to less than 2 hours a day. We’ve collected some great ideas for keeping your children active indoors if it’s too cold to be outside. Here are some cold weather guidelines to follow to make these cold months safer for your family.

Also, you don’t need fancy equipment to get some good exercise. Check out our blog on Green Fitness utilizing items you have around the house!

 

Prepare healthy foods or beverages throughout the year

January isn’t the only time to focus on your New Year’s resolutions, continue it by bringing healthy snacks or beverages to activities all year long — whether it be birthday celebrations, work and school parties, holiday gatherings or just a group play date.

Looks for healthy suggestions over on the Live Well Omaha Kids Pinterest boards.

 

Take Action Now

While we have shared many resources with you to make your New Year’s resolutions successful — there are so many more resources available in our community based on your specific needs. We have compiled a list of these resources here.

To keep in touch with us for ideas to turn your resolutions into healthy, life-long habits, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive tips on staying healthy, kid-friendly recipes, and local event reminders for the entire family.