March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Want to stick to your New Year's resolutions – and help your kids to stick to theirs? You're the greatest role model for your child, so make 2014 the year to not only make healthy choices, but also model a healthy lifestyle and eating habits for your family.
Dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle in 2014 with healthy behaviors and small changes, they really will add up over time:
- Serve regular, balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
- Fuel up the family for the day with a nutritious breakfast.
- Focus on health, not weight. Don't talk about your weight or put yourself down in front of your kids. You don't want them to think a healthy lifestyle is only about how much they weigh.
- Enjoy family dinner together each night or as often as possible.
- At each meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains.
- Get active. Fit in physical activity where you can in your day, whether taking a family walk after dinner or hitting the gym. Remember, children and teens should get 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should get two and a half hours per week.
- Make simple food safety, like washing hands, part of every eating occasion.
- Stay positive and try not to complain about how much you dislike exercising or eating healthy foods; your child is listening to everything you say, even if you think they're ignoring you.
- Seek help from a qualified health professional. A registered dietitian nutritionist is your best source of reliable and up-to-date food and nutrition information.
Remember, small steps can turn into greater strides towards a healthier lifestyle.