Keep Your Habits Healthy

Keep Your Habits Healthy

The foods we eat affect our health, bodies and minds.  It can be hard to prioritize healthy eating when you’re trying to manage your work and family life with limited time and budget. You and your family have unique needs, and this can help you find a healthy eating style that works for you within your everyday life.

Eating healthy means filling half our plates with fruits and vegetables and the other half with whole grains and a variety of lean proteins. Getting enough water and low fat or nonfat dairy, and eating less saturated fat, added sugars and sodium is also an important part of healthy eating patterns.

EAT AND DRINK THE RIGHT AMOUNT FOR YOU

  1. Choose a healthy eating style that meets your nutrition and calorie needs.
  2. Drink water instead of sugary drinks to manage your calories.
  3. Use SuperTracker  to create your personal eating style.

AT THE STORE

  • Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. You’ll be tempted to buy foods loaded with fat and/or sugar.
  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in peak season. They usually cost less and taste better.
  • CalFresh can help you put fresh, healthy foods—like fruits and vegetables—on your table.
  • Pick low-sodium or no salt added varieties of canned vegetables. They have most of the same nutrients as fresh and can be stored for a long time.
  • Look around for better deals. Stores usually put the most expensive items at eye-level. Look on the high and low shelves for better deals.
  • Try growing your own fruits and vegetables at home or in a community garden. Some plants, like tomatoes, zucchini, and basil can grow in a container. Bonus: Kids like to eat what they grow!

AT HOME

Cooking more often at home helps you control the ingredients in your food. It also helps you be a role model. Eating healthy in front of your kids will make them want to eat healthy too.

  • Use frozen or canned fruits and vegetables in meals – they’re great time-savers! They are already cleaned and chopped. They also keep most of the same nutrients as when they are fresh.
  • Let your kids help you prepare meals. When kids help make it, they are more likely to eat it. Younger kids can tear lettuce for salads or wash fruits and vegetables. Older kids can help cut and cook.
  • Keep fruit on hand to add to cereal in the morning, or, to make a quick smoothie before they leave for school. Bananas, berries, and frozen fruits work best.
  • Put fruits and vegetables in easy-to-reach places in the refrigerator or on the counter.

AT WORK

It is a challenge to eat healthy when you’re busy, but eating better can actually improve your focus at work. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Enjoy a healthy afternoon snack like an apple or baby carrots, instead of a candy bar. It will help you feel full and energized – and you won’t have the sugar “crash” afterwards.
  • Skip the chips and other salty, high-fat snacks in the vending machine. Pick dried fruits or a whole grain granola bar.
  • Start a lunch club with your co-workers. Make a commitment to bring healthy lunches and eating together. It’s easier to stick to it when you’re in a group!
  • Go for a crisp side salad with low fat dressing or a cup of vegetable soup instead of fries.
  • Pick pizza with at least three vegetable toppings – like bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions.
  • Walk to and from nearby restaurants so you can get some activity before and after you eat.
  • Talk to your employer about offering a healthy dining menu at your work. It can be profitable for them, and benefit your health.

AT SCHOOL

It’s a fact – kids that eat better do better in school. Check out these tips to help you make sure your children get all the nutrients they need.

  • Start their day off right – sign your child up for your school’s breakfast program.
  • Pack healthy snacks your child can munch on during the day, like raisins, carrot sticks, and dried fruits.
  • Pack water, nonfat, or low fat (1%) milk in lunches.
  • Talk to your child’s school about serving healthier foods in the cafeteria and vending machines. To learn how, check out our community involvement tools.
  • Talk to your child’s school about starting a school garden. For more information on school gardens, visit www.csgn.org.

EATING OUT

Every community deserves a place where you can buy healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables. If you want to get involved in making your neighborhood a healthier place to live, learn how you can take action in your community.

  • Walk to and from nearby restaurants so you can get some activity before and after you eat.
  • When you eat out, check for nutrition information online or ask to see nutrition information before ordering.
  • Look for menu items that are baked, broiled, or steamed instead of choices that are fried, breaded or cooked in butter. Ask for creamy sauces to be served separately on the side.
  • Drink water, low-calorie beverages, and unsweetened coffee or ice tea with meals.