“This post is sponsored by the Aetna Foundation. All opinions are my own.”
Focusing on your health is very hard to do in a city that loves food like Cleveland. One of the things I like to do is read holiday health tips before the holiday to ensure I don’t go overboard…because the tips will be in the back of my mind! We are a foodie town, and with the holidays coming up there is food everywhere; friends and family houses, the office, holiday parties…any event at this time of year is most likely centered around food!
It’s almost like a universal language of Clevelanders!
On Thanksgiving we went over my in-laws house, but my mom also cooks so there is food everywhere. But along with eating, my husband and I make sure that we are being active. We may not hit the gym but we are out actively walking and letting the kids get out a run their extra energy off.
The Aetna Foundation is working hard to promote people to stay active and healthy during the holidays. So instead of sharing a recipe let me share 3 tips from Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
In conjunction with promoting being healthy and active during the holidays, the Aetna Foundation GoLocal grant program also grants a Cleveland organization money to increase access to locally grown fruits and vegetables in underserved communities. This year $25,000 was rewarded to The Refugee Response-Refugee Empowerment Agricultural Program (REAP) from the 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 and generating opportunities to support the project through community service or volunteering.
Here are a few suggestions of changes you can make for you and your family…
Let Your Kids Pick – Get your kids excited about trying fresh fruits and vegetables by taking them to the farmer’s market with you and allowing them to pick out new produce to try. If you’re interested in growing your own garden, getting your kids to help you is also a great way to get them moving and active.
Start small – If you’re interested in creating a garden of your own, but live in a small space, you can use hanging baskets and plastic pots to grow your plants outside, and even plant fresh herbs inside.
Find a garden in your neighborhood – Use resources such as the American Community Gardening Association to find a community garden near your home.
Check out your local farmer’s market – Convenient access to the right tools, like fresh produce is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The USDA National
Farmers Market Directory can help find fresh local produce for yourself and your family.
Share your knowledge – Use your gardening skills to help your community by volunteering. You can find volunteer opportunities through your local parks department and through the American Community Gardening Association.
I cant wait to try some of these tips with Emma and DJ. Im not the biggest vegetable eater, so maybe this is something we can learn about together.
I cant wait to start trying new produce and recipes together. We are a fruit loving family but we need to do better with our veggies! I cant wait to try them together!
What health tips do you use to help you get through the Holidays?