January is Physical Health & Nutrition Month:
The beginning of a new year is an ideal time for teenagers and families to start improving their physical health – including making commitments to healthy eating and exercising.
Teenagers have growth spurts and gain 20% of their adult height and 50% of their adult weight during adolescence. This means that they need more of every nutrient and should begin healthy eating habits now. Below are some healthy nutrition tips that can help teens:
- Encourage your teen to help plan family meals, shop for groceries or even cook dinner. This allows young people to think about balanced diets and healthy options.
- Eat meals together as a family and be a role model by eating healthy and balanced
- Always have a variety of fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned) available at home.
- Encourage your teen to eat breakfast. Cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola bars are quick, healthy breakfast foods.
The American Heart Association recommends that teenagers get an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every single day. Sadly, the reality is that teenagers rarely get an hour of physical activity and instead spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using electronics or watching tv. Below are a few tips to help teens become more active during the winter months:
- Limit tv and do not let teens have them in their bedrooms.
- Take walks as a family or spend time together doing something active.
- Encourage your teenager to play sports or to find a gym that offers activities he or she likes.
- Be an active adult – show teenagers that living a healthy lifestyle is important.
As we begin 2019, our team encourages you to make physical health and healthy eating a priority for yourself and your families.