Welcome to the New Year!  It’s a great reminder for us to practice HealthBarn USA’s seven healthy habits.  Practicing these good habits everyday will help you and your family be happy, strong, and of course, healthy!

  • Eat fruits and vegetables. They have a lot of color that comes from vitamins and minerals, so when eating these colorful fruits and vegetables everyone gets strong and healthy.
  • Exercise. Kids at HealthBarn say they like to ride a bike, clean their rooms, walk their dogs, and chase their brother or sister around the backyard.  Sitting in front of the TV and computer doesn’t count for exercise — but gardening does and it burns a lot of calories, too!
  • Eat breakfast. The most important meal of the day!  Kids who eat breakfast do better in school and don’t get in as much trouble.  If you are in a hurry, grab an apple, a banana or make the double thumbs up Sweet Potato Pancakes from Appetite for Life to make sure you are ready for the day.
  • Get a good night sleep. Depending on their age, kids need approximately 10 hours of sleep each night.  Many kids tell us that they have trouble sleeping because of nightmares, pets, or siblings.  Families need to work as a team to help kids get the sleep they need. Being really tired can make it hard to concentrate in school and makes kids more likely to have accidents.
  • Family meals.  Do you eat a meal and watch TV at the same time?  It’s important to eat at the table, turn-off all “devices” and of course, practice your manners!  It’s a great time to tell parents, siblings, grandparents and babysitters about the day. If the TV is on, the lines of communication are not open with the most important people in our lives. 
  • Brush and floss teeth.  Washing hands is important to get rid of germs, but your mouth can really load up with germs and bad bacteria if you’re not brushing and flossing everyday!  Bonus: your heart benefits, too!
  • Recycle.  Being healthy includes looking after the planet, too!  We are all about practicing the 4 R’s — reduce, reuse, recycle and respect at HealthBarn USA.  We love to compost our fruit and veggie scraps to make healthy soil because it creates strong and nutritious plants for people to eat and to get healthy, too – how cool is that?

Practicing all of these healthy habits isn’t easy.  Many kids tell us that eating fruits and vegetables and sleeping are their most challenging to do everyday.  Being honest and talking about these habits is the first step to living a healthy lifestyle.

What habit do you find the most challenging?

– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

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