By Amy Halfmann
Registered, Licensed Dietitian
Want to stick to your New Year’s resolutions—and help your kids stick to theirs?
You’re a role model for your family and friends. So make 2016 the year to not only make healthy choices, but also model a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.
Try these five simple, yet sensible, tips to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle. And stick with that resolution all year long!
1. Start with breakfast. Stop skipping the greatest, and most important, meal of the day. And start your day the healthy way! Studies have shown people who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to control their weight than those who skip breakfast. An ideal breakfast contains at least three food groups. Like a bowl of whole wheat cereal with lowfat milk and a half cup of berries.
2. Don’t forget the color. Even in winter, you can fill your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables. Frozen produce is a great pick during wintry months. They’re packaged at the peak of perfection, low in calories and fat and are great sources of dietary fiber. A healthy win for sure!
3. Healthy snacking, please. When you feel that mid-afternoon hunger twinge, grab fresh or dried fruit. They’re high in antioxidants and fiber and low in calories. Make it fun by using lowfat yogurt as a dip or combine with a half cup of unsalted nuts for added protein. Tasty and good for you.
4. Choose whole grains. Strive to consume at least three servings of whole grains every day. Whole grains are a great source of dietary fiber and provide an array of antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables. Increase your consumption by using whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice and whole wheat pasta.
5. Focus on sodium. Reducing sodium intake can help lower and maintain blood pressure. This can be a healthy benefit for your heart. So choose foods that are labeled low sodium or sodium-free. Pick fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And season with fresh herbs and spices.
To help Texas families kick off the New Year right, I’ve shared several of my favorite healthy-eating recipes with Texas Farm Bureau Food Editor Kelly Bogard. On Friday, she’ll be sharing a tasty and healthy Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes recipe that I love from Julie Van Rosendaal here on Texas Table Top. Be sure to check it out.
Remember, this is a new year. Set your goal and stick with it. You can do it! But if you come to a roadblock and need some advice or direction, seek help from a qualified health professional. They’ll steer you in the right direction.
For more information on how families can shop smart, cook healthy and eat right all year, visit www.kidseatright.org.
Wishing you all a joyful and prosperous 2016!
Amy Halfmann is a farm mom and registered, licensed dietitian. She and her husband, Marcus, grow cotton, sesame, wheat and hay in Midland County.