Posted by: Terri Mendoza – WIC Nutritionist
Happy New Year! If you’ve been thinking, “I’ll start eating better and being more active next year,” the time is now! This is YOUR year to make those positive changes happen. If you focus your efforts on one goal that is at the top of your priority list, you’ll be more likely to succeed than if you try to tackle several overwhelming challenges all at once.
Before settling on one goal, I like to reflect on what the past year has brought my way– the good, the bad, and the areas with room for improvement. What have you accomplished that you are proud of, and what do you feel needs to change? Whatever your resolution, taking small manageable steps that fit into your daily life is the key.
If healthier eating is your goal, here are some ideas: Let the family help with meal planning and food shopping. Kids who help with shopping and cooking are more likely to try new foods. Plan one night of the week when everyone sits down to eat together without any interruptions…no TV or cell phones! Make one simple swap-out every week. Enjoy whole grains such as whole wheat bread instead of white bread, or brown rice instead of white rice. Try serving beans or lentils instead of meat for lean protein. Drink seltzer water with a squirt of lemon or lime juice in place of soda or juice. Try to include at least one serving of fruit or vegetables at each meal. Satisfy that sweet tooth with a baked apple with cinnamon, or strawberries and frozen bananas dipped in a little dark chocolate.
Trying to be more active? Buddy up with a friend. Depending on each other will keep you both motivated! Get the entire family involved. Walk indoors at the mall or take a hike outside. Learn to hula hoop or buy a jump rope. Find a yoga video on the internet or rent one from your local library. Go ice skating, or dance and play tag with your kids. Gradually build up to your goal. Start with 10 minutes of activity each day, until you reach 30 minutes on most days of the week.
Keep track of your progress and successes on a calendar, in a journal, or with a free smart phone app. Start with baby steps and with time, you will find that positive changes lead to more positive changes, and what were once resolutions are now part of your everyday life. Here’s to a healthy, happy and fulfilling new year! What is your New Year’s resolution?