We all need to have healthy habits for living, whether we are young or old, overweight or underweight. Poor eating and exercising habits are not good for any type of body build, so no family members should be considered as exceptions. Here are some guidelines for healthy living for the entire household.
Healthy eating takes place at the table.Avoid eating while reading and while in front of the TV or computer. Eat slowly, start with a smaller portion than you usually do, and chew your food well. Before getting more food, drink a glass of water to see if that will satisfy you.
Enjoy three balanced meals which include fruits and vegetables each day. Try to eat meals together as a family. If you skip breakfast, you might overeat later in the day.
There are lots of healthy snacks to choose from. At our “Patient Education” page, on our website, are links to great snack ideas.
Remember that soda and juice also have calories, you should limit these. Milk and water should be the liquids of choice.
Try to avoid eating after 8 PM, and get sufficient sleep at night.
Give yourself a break! Nobody can be good all the time. Allow for treats like fast food, desserts, and candy, but schedule it so you can look forward to it. No one should have dessert every single day.
Get outside and play. Become involved in sports, running, jump-roping, bicycling- anything! Parents need to set a good example.
Exercise at least three or four times each week. Exercise until you are sweaty and breathing hard. In fact, you will keep your body “revved-up” if you also do something active such as taking a short walk after every meal.
Television and computer/video games need to be limited to60-90 minutes per day of watching so you have time to be active.
Do not smoke.
Reward yourselves and your children for following these guidelines and doing well in other tasks, but don’t use food as the reward. Instead, reward with something that takes effort: extra play time with a parent, or a family card or game night. Our office has a nurse practitioner who offers the HEAL program (Healthy Eating and Active Living). This program consists of private sessions with the child/teenager and a parent. Sessions are available (by appointment) on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday afternoons at 5:15 pm. Please call Kristen Johnston to discuss or schedule appointments.