This post is sponsored by the Aetna Foundation. All opinions are my own.
As soon as Thanksgiving draws near, I know that a fair amount of holiday indulging is headed our family’s way. Now I’m no Scrooge. I certainly don’t begrudge my kiddos Christmas cookies or candy canes, but I try to keep a nice balance between the sweets and a healthier diet. In fact, Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation, shared some great holiday tips to help people stay healthy and active during the season that I plan on using to help my family.
1. Eat well. When grocery shopping for large (or small) family meals, choose seasonal, nutritious foods as often as possible. When fresh is not possible, keep in mind that frozen and canned fruits and vegetables still offer a healthy option. To guard against nutrient loss be sure to eat your frozen fruits and veggies soon after purchase and steam or microwave them rather than boiling to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins.
2. Cook together. As you plan and cook meals for your friends and family over the holidays, inviting your children to cook with you is a great way to teach them about nutrition and better food choices.
3. Get off the couch. It can be tempting to curl up on the couch and stay warm and dry during the cold winter months, but find ways to stay active with your family – like interactive dancing video games, an indoor game of hide-and-seek, or dancing during commercials while you watch your favorite TV show.
A healthy diet is only half the battle after all. It’s important to us that the entire family stays as active as possible during the holiday season! Whether we’re simply playing a game of tag in the yard or going sledding, we try to get outside and play every day even when we’re on vacation. The kids sleep better…We sleep better. It’s a win win for everyone!
And even when we do allow screen time for things like gaming, we’re actively involved in the video game selection process. Games that encourage activity and problem solving are great choices! Of course, everyone can use a little downtime and I have been known to partake in some games that take me back to when I was a kiddo!
In the end, it’s all about moderation…balance. Well rounded diets, activity and FUN are the keys to a happy and healthy holiday in my book. And speaking of well rounded diets, I like to keep a big bowl of fresh fruit out for my kids to snack on when they’re hungry. They’re less likely to turn to junk when healthier options are readily available! We know how blessed we are that fresh produce is an option for us.
That’s why we love how the Aetna Foundation is working to increase access to healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables in underserved communities. Every growing little body should have access to the food they need! Their aim is to help people live healthier lives community by community. I can’t think of a better message to spread this holiday season.
In fact, here in Tampa, the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association, specifically The Tampa Heights Farmers’ Market: Bringing It All Together — Tampa Heights Healthy Living, Garden, Kitchen, Training and Social Enterprise program, was granted $25,000 from the Aetna Foundation as part of its GoLocal grant program! The GoLocal grants were awarded to organizations that engaged local residents in the following ways:
- Nutrition education and/or cooking classes
- Distributing produce reflecting local ethnic and cultural food traditions
- Providing ways to learn job skills
- Generating opportunities to support the project through community service or volunteering
Now does that put you in the holiday spirit or what?!?
Find more healthy living tips for your family at https://www.aetna-foundation.org/.