As we settle deeper into this chilly season, Ellie Krieger — Food Network Host, mom, and spokesperson for the Just One More for Healthy Living campaign — offers some terrific tips for helping your family take simple, but significant, steps each day towards a healthy lifestyle. Try these 10 ways to incorporate more fruit and veggies into your daily diet. Those extra nutrients will give you the energy you'll need to plow through the winter months.
- Teach your kids to "Eat the Rainbow" every day. This is a fun way for kids to get the nutrition they need. Kids love to keep track of all the colors they eat during the day — even green!
- Take the Just One More for Healthy Living pledge as a family. Studies indicate families have higher success rates achieving healthier lifestyles when they work together.
- Get the kids involved. When children have a role in meal planning, they are more inclined to eat it. Get them excited about the process!
- Incorporate 30 extra minutes of activity into each day. This doesn't have to be 30 consecutive minutes. Try parking in the farthest parking spot at the mall parking lot, taking the stairs, or walking the dog an extra block.
- Try going organic. This doesn't have to be expensive or inconvenient; you can get canned organic produce year round at your local grocer (Del Monte offers a complete line of organic canned veggies). Some research indicates that organic produce can contain up to 40% more antioxidants than non-organic, and contains no harmful pesticides.
- Introduce your children to new foods regularly, and don't give up if they're not immediately a hit. The more you offer new foods, the greater variety of foods your child will eat.
- Let your child make choices. As long as she's selecting nutritious foods, it's okay to allow your child to pick what she wants to eat, even if it means she's eating a particular food again and again for a while.
- Always (or as often as possible) eat around the table with the family. Studies show that this promotes healthy eating habits and decreases the risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases down the road.
- Offer healthy snacks. If your child doesn't eat at one mealtime, you can offer a nutritious snack, such as fresh fruit, vegetable, or whole-grain crackers, a few hours later.
- The golden rules for high-energy eating: Never go more than four or five hours without eating, and include some protein at each meal or snack — like individual tuna salad packs, cheese sticks, or nuts. Keep your cupboards stocked with healthy foods you can grab and eat on the go.
Read more of Ellie Krieger's tips and recipes.
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