CAWC: It’s time to talk about healthy eating habits

Tim Goodwin / Insider staffYou've got to eat your fruits and veggies, every single day.
Tim Goodwin / Insider staffYou've got to eat your fruits and veggies, every single day.

For the Insider

Do you find it daunting to get your children to power down, move more or eat their fruit and veggies?

Teaching your child the importance of establishing healthy habits through role modeling, support, positive praise and one challenge at a time will carry over into adulthood. Just remember, “monkey see, monkey do.”

The more you role model a healthy lifestyle the more your children will follow suit. Although, with all the external influences our children are exposed to it seems as though it may take a village . . .

According to Tufts University “researchers report that kids are more likely to increase their fruit and vegetable intake if they are served at school every day and taught the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.” Good news: New Hampshire schools are working on developing policies that promote healthy habits!

Okay, parents, there are only two weeks left before the kids are off to school. Why not take advantage of these last two weeks to encourage the whole family to take the 5210 Challenge.

How do I approach this, you ask?

Start out by getting the kids involved, brainstorming incentives and ways to approach each challenge. The more it becomes their idea, the more motivated they are to take on the challenge. Remember this is about fostering healthy habits, not about shape, size or weight.

The “5210 Challenge” is a free and fun way to incorporate healthy habits into your home. The daily challenge encourages:

5-Five servings of fruit and vegetables.

2-No more than 2 hours of screen time.

1-One hour or more of physical activity.

0-Zero sugar sweetened beverages.

For tracking tools, activities, recipes, meal plans and much more check out healthynh.com/index.php/ posters.html, choosemyplate.gov, fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/why-fruits- veggies and letsgo.org/get-involved/families/Maine.

Take advantage of the free tools you can print out and use in the comfort of your own home. A healthy child is a happy child!

Michelle Smith, MS, RDN, LD is a nutrition coach and health educator for Concord Hospital’s Center for Health Promotion. Smith is a contributing member of the Capital Area Wellness Coalition (CAWC), which coordinates community resources and builds partnerships to create a culture of healthy living for everyone. The CAWC meets monthly on the second Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the Center for Health Promotion, 49 S. Main St. Visit capwellness.org to learn more.

Author: Michelle Smith

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