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Tips For a Happy, Healthy and More Energized New Year
By ARAcontent
Jan 20, 2008, 19:40 PST

Every new year brings New Year’s resolutions -- most of which are abandoned just a few weeks, and sometimes even days, into January! In 2008, skip resolutions that call for drastic measures. Instead, make a simple pledge that will be a cinch to keep -- empower your family to get healthier and happier with easy nutrition tips that work effortlessly with your lifestyle.

“Families are busy -- and it can certainly be a challenge to ensure all are as healthy and active as they should be,” says Ellie Krieger, registered dietitian and Food Network Host.  “However, there are several ways for families to become healthy and fit together -- and it can be fun! From cooking with the children to fun, family trips that keep everyone moving -- it’s easier than most think to improve your health and spend quality time with your loved ones.”  

The following helpful tips will make it fun and simple for your entire family to stay on track all year long!

* Promise to become healthy as a family
Research shows families who adopt better nutrition and fitness habits together have higher success rates in achieving an overall healthier lifestyle. For example, a good place to start is participating in the Just One More for Healthy Living pledge. The program encourages families to take simple steps each day to yield significant results towards a healthy lifestyle. Families simply pledge online ( to add just one more serving of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes daily, one more serving weekly of lean protein, such as tuna, and 30 more minutes of daily activity. Families can also track their progress online and learn additional easy tips to maintain a healthy, realistic lifestyle that works with even the busiest of family schedules.

* Little chefs
Research shows that when children have a role in meal planning, they are more inclined to eat it. Get them excited about the process. Try having the kids create their own menu of healthy snacks to enjoy. Additionally, keeping nutritious options on hand that your child is excited about means they may not be as inclined to reach for the salty or sugary snacks. A great sweet treat to keep stashed in the pantry is Del Monte Healthy Kids. Fortified with vitamins A and C as well as calcium, the peach and fruit cocktail varieties are the first fortified fruit cups on the market (, and provide the essential vitamins kids need to live happier, healthier lives.

* Teach your kids to “Eat the Rainbow” every day
This is a fun way for kids -- and adults -- to get the balanced nutrition they need. Kids love to keep track of all the “colors” they eat during the day -- even green! Add one additional serving of fruits and vegetables to your family’s diet each day to pump up energy levels. Research suggests that only 20 to 30 percent of Americans actually eat the recommended servings of fruits and veggies a day, which the FDA now advises is 9 to 13 servings for optimal health. Eating more fruits and vegetables daily will not only make you feel fuller and more energized, but the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in them can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

* Bring back the family dinner
Studies indicate that children who eat with their family develop healthier habits than those who don’t. This could decrease risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases in your child’s future.

* Family fun day
Get up and get moving -- as a family. Whether it is an evening ice skating or an extra long walk with the family dog, incorporate more activities into your routine. Try making this a weekly event and choose a different game or sport to enjoy every week! Consider purchasing a family membership at the community recreation center, YMCA or health club and plan weekly visits. Another alternative is to adopt a family sport. Take tennis or golf lessons together and practice, practice, practice!

* Family vacation
While plenty of relaxation is certainly important during vacations, one of the best ways to relieve stress is to get up and get moving. Plan vacations that will offer your entire family several physical activities that are fun and challenging. Opt for the bicycle tour instead of hours in the car. Try hiking, canoeing, or cross-country skiing instead of going to the movies.

For more information on how to take the pledge, and for more quick and healthy recipes, visit

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