Summer is coming to an end, and a new school year is looming on the horizon. As you and your family purchase school supplies, sign up for fall activities and adjust to new schedules, don’t forget to make health a daily priority. Getting back into a healthy routine right from the start will help make it a great year!
As part of the Together Counts™ program for healthy, active living, we know a healthy family routine can make all the difference. From making healthier food choices at home and dining out, to incorporating regular activity into each day, parents can help make the best choices, the easiest choices and help kids develop healthy habits. In addition, these habits can help families power through the busy days ahead.
As the school year kicks off, use these smart ideas to make health a priority in your family’s routine:
- Keep healthy snacks on hand – Are your kids always hungry? Keep pre-portioned snacks like nuts, cut fruits and veggies, string cheese and hard-boiled eggs on hand and within kids’ reach for an easy after school snack or last-minute addition to a lunch. These are also a smart choice for busy parents during the day. Check out these grab-and-go healthy snack ideas.
- Plan ahead – Mornings can often be a whirlwind! Make healthy breakfasts and lunches the night before to minimize stress during busy mornings. The whole family will benefit from having the best choices on hand. Don’t forget to enlist help from your kids in the kitchen.
- Take advantage of restaurants – More and more families, short on time, are making the most of restaurants during the week. Encourage kids to opt for feel-good foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables that can help energize them during and after school. Kids LiveWell menu choices make it easy for the whole family with dietitian-recommended menu choices at restaurants coast to coast. Popular menu choices include spaghetti, sliders, quesadillas and grilled chicken fingers.
- Break up the work with play – In the evening, give everyone a break from the stack of homework and list of chores with regular activity breaks. Set a timer and alternate between 30 minutes of homework and chores and 15 minutes of tag, dancing and other family favorites that will get hearts pumping and energy up.
- Get everyone involved – Whether it’s planning family dinner, choosing a new restaurant to try or recommending a fun activity, encourage even the youngest members of the family to get involved. Making the best choices for health is a habit that is learned early and everyone appreciates having a vote.
How do you make the best choices the easy choices as the busy school year begins? Check out HealthyDiningFinder.com for more ideas and insight to help your family live a healthier lifestyle throughout the year.
Healthy Dining’s signature web and mobile site, HealthyDiningFinder.com, is the only search engine of its kind providing personalized dining out recommendations validated by Healthy Dining’s team of registered dietitians. HealthyDiningFinder.com features more than 4,000 menu choices from participating restaurants nationwide enabling diet- and nutrition- conscious consumers to find nutrition information and Healthy Dining options emphasizing lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and unsaturated fats. HealthyDiningFinder.com also features a Kids LiveWell platform, a program developed by the National Restaurant Association, to help parents find restaurants offering healthier meals for children. With 25 years of expertise in the restaurant industry and hundreds of thousands of restaurant recipes analyzed for nutrient content, Healthy Dining is the most experienced restaurant nutrition services provider in the world.
For more ideas on ways to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine, take a look at these other articles from Together Counts!