Monday, March 29, 2010

10 Get Healthy Tips

1. Start your day the healthy way with an energizing breakfast

Quick ideas include whole grain waffles with berries, yogurt with dry cereal, wheat English
muffin with natural peanut butter and banana slices or the classic, cereal with skim or 1% milk.

2. Pack a nutritious school lunch

Try to include at least three food groups with your lunch by adding a yogurt, fruit or vegetable as a side to your sandwich instead of snack foods or dessert.

3. Be a smart snacker

Snacks are a great way to keep your energy up and can help you keep a healthy weight. Try some of these smart after school snacks:

  • 6 Triscuit crackers with 1 oz of low fat Cabot cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium apple with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup of low fat yogurt with ½ cup of berries
  • 1 cup of chopped veggies with 2 tablespoons of hummus or light dressing
  • 1 snack size bag of light popcorn

4. Have a family dinner

Sit with your family at the table to enjoy a meal together, keep the TV off and share your stories from the day.

5. Step away from the bag

Stop eating out of a bag, box or container of food. Take the serving size listed at the top of the nutrition facts label and put the remainder away. Enjoy the appropriate serving size and see if that will keep you satisfied. If you’re still hungry, try a fruit or a veggie to fill you up!

6. Drink more water

Drinking water before a meal can help fill up your stomach so you don’t overeat. Also, choose water (or unsweetened flavored water) over soda, juice, or other sweetened beverages, which have a lot of excess calories without a lot of nutritional value.

7. Take the stairs

Using the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator can help you significantly increase the energy you burn off during the day. Even walking up and down the stairs at home can be great exercise.

8. Get a pedometer

Use a pedometer (step-counter) to measure the number of steps you take each day. Put in on your belt or waist of your pants every morning and take if off at night, then record your steps in a journal to track your progress. You should aim for 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day, which is the equivalent of walking 5-6 miles per day.

9. Cut out an hour of TV

Reducing your screen time (TV, computer, video games) by an hour per day and doing something active instead can help you to burn more energy and prevent weight gain that can be caused by being too sedentary.

10. Take a family walk

Go for a walk before or after dinner with someone in your family. It’s a great way to spend time together, hear about each other’s day, and burn great energy.

Written by the Weight Management Program at MassGeneral for Children at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

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