ABC’s of Healthy Habits

February 23, 2017 | Health, Healthy Living, Nutrition

Ask your doctor. Diet and exercise is not always one-size-fits-all. If you have questions about what you should be eating, and what physical activity would benefit you most, don’t be afraid to ask your medical provider what works best for your body.

Breastfeeding! Breastfeeding is a natural experience that provides health benefits to baby and mom.

Cut down on added sugars. Check the nutrition label at the grocery store to ensure that added sugar content is low.

Dental care. Seeing a dentist is necessary for children and adults, and dental health is key to total body health.

Exercise. Getting physical activity is important to have a lifetime of good health. Regular exercise will fight off chronic disease and keep you feeling great!

Folic acid. Folic acid is added to many grain products like bread and cereal, and is important for all women, men, and children. Many expecting mothers receive folic acid supplementation to prevent neural tube defects.

Go outside. Enjoying the outdoors can spark fun and enjoyable physical activity. Nature walks, playing tag, and tossing a Frisbee are all great ways to get moving.

Helmets. Wearing a helmet prevents against unnecessary injury. Be a role model for children by wearing one yourself!

Invest time in your health. Healthy habits don’t always come naturally. Take the time to set goals for physical activity and healthy eating, and make a realistic plan to reach them!

Jumping Jacks. Even simple exercises, like jumping jacks, can get your heart pumping without requiring a gym membership.

Kale. No nutrition blog is complete without it. Adding it to foods like smoothies will disguise the taste without losing the nutrients.

Learning! It’s healthy to try to keep learning and exploring our world. Keep that brain working!

Moderation in everything. Don’t overdo exercise one day and then do nothing the next. Only eat sweets and high fat foods occasionally.

Notice nutrition labels. Reading the label on your favorite foods keeps you informed about serving sizes, sugar content and calories. You may be surprised to learn exactly what you are eating.

Order ½ portions or split meals when you go out to eat. This saves on unneeded extra calories, it’s easy to overeat when dining out.

Plan your meals. Meal planning leads to savings in your pocketbook and more complete meals with items from most of the food groups.

Quit smoking if you smoke. Don’t pick up smoking if you don’t smoke.

Read nutrition labels: Check for added sugars on things you think are healthy such as yogurt. Try to buy the yogurt that doesn’t have much added sugar.

Sunscreen. Protect your skin from sun damage, every day.

Try something new! Try a new vegetable or fruit at dinner tonight or try a new physical activity with the family.

Unusual. This one ties in with letter T. Don’t be afraid to try things outside your comfort zone. Try adding a new spice to dinner, picking out a funny shaped vegetable, or trying a free local dance class.

Vaccinate. If you are not sure what vaccinations your child needs, ask your doctor of local health department.

Water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If you find yourself sipping too much soda or juice, try adding fruit to your water, or try sparkling waters to hydrate in a healthier way.

Xylitol. Chewing gum is a small treat that can have a big impact. Many types of gum contain harmful sugars for you and your child’s teeth, and may cause cavities when chewed regularly. Select gum containing xylitol, a “tooth friendly” sugar that prevents cavity causing bacteria.

Yoga. Do midday yoga, or take a stretching break to warm-up your muscles and give you an energy boost.

Zzzz’s. Get enough sleep! Everyone knows children need daytime naps, but sometimes adults do too.