We are about halfway through National Nutrition Month and warmer weather is just around the corner. With everything springing to life (pun intended 😉), it’s the perfect time to shake up your eating habits! Not sure where to start? I’ve got a few ideas that I believe could help you and your family turn over a new leaf and boost your nutrition.
- What’s one way to explore the abundance of fruits and vegetables available around you? Take a field trip! Visit your local grocery store or farmers’ market. Once you arrive, let the games begin! Encourage everyone in your family to pick one or two new-to-them produce items. Bonus points if they choose in-season produce, as it’s usually cheaper. Once you’ve brought it all home, divide it into teams with each team challenged to try one or two recipes to share with the family that incorporates each team member’s special ingredients. Make your newly-found produce the star of the show. It’s like your own version of The Food Network’s show, “Chopped”, right at home. You might be surprised with what you come up with! If you really want to kick it up a notch- Round Two: get creative with the leftovers!
- The best way to appreciate your food than to grow it yourself. Gardening is a relaxing, stress-relieving hobby that the whole family can enjoy regardless of space constraints. If you’re new to gardening, you may want to start out with some fresh herbs and lettuce. To learn more about how to plan your summer garden, first identify what gardening zone you live in. Knowing that will help you pick plants suited to your climate. Once you know your zone, you can search your zone number online and even on social media for tips about growing in your area. Another great resource regardless of your gardening skill is to join a community garden. You can find one close to your neighborhood by searching your zip code in this community garden locator.
- Our lives are often so busy, it can be difficult to allocate time every day to spend simple quality time with loved ones. One thing that can help is to practice mindful mealtimes with your family. Turn the TV off, put the phones and tablets away, and dust off the dinner table. Eating together provides a great opportunity to catch up on the week’s events, share a funny story, talk about plans for the weekend or simply enjoy being in the moment with your people. An added perk to this activity is that by removing the distractions, you will find that you enjoy the food more and are able to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues better.
- Nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand. So, for this last idea, let’s get everybody moving. A family walk or bike ride after dinner, rollerblading, kayaking, playing tag, or learning to fly a kite are some ways to enjoy physical activity in the spring and summertime. Maybe you can get the family involved in a new sport, like tennis, swimming, or soccer. The added bonus here? Soaking up some much-needed Vitamin D (don’t forget the sunscreen!) keeps our bodies energized.
I hope these ideas help get your wheels turning! I wrote this post to hold me accountable to try something new this season, and I hope it does for you too.