June 06, 2014

TIPS, TOOLS AND ACTIVITY

Have fun with the family and ‘Roll with It’ this month. To play this game, you will need dice, a pencil and a piece of paper. Number the paper from 1-6. Next to each number, write down a physical activity and the number of times the activity should be performed (i.e. twenty jumping jacks). Your list could look something like this:

1.            Twenty jumping jacks

2.            Five squats

3.            Six star jumps

4.            Eight push ups

5.            Fifteen calf raises

6.            Ten lunges

Now get your family together to play Roll with It, each person rolls the die and performs the activity based on the number rolled. If you want to make the game more challenging, come up with twelve activities and use two dice. Roll with It is a fun game for the whole family and can be played after a meal, during a break from screen time or outdoors on a nice spring day.

Q AND A

Q: Where can I find healthier foods on a tight budget?

A: In most grocery stores when you see a price tag you will find two prices. The more prominent number is the real price – the amount that the cashier will ask you to pay when you get to the cash register. The smaller number, if available, is the unit price. Often, the unit price will be in a smaller font size, printed with a lighter color of ink, or the real price will have yellow highlighting on it to call attention to itself. Zero in on the unit price to understand the real cost. This additional information provides you a standard unit to use to compare products and packages, allowing you as the busy parent to make a more informed choice. This information should make it easier for you to compare prices and ensure you can bring home healthier foods and stay within your food budget. For example a 16 oz. can of unsalted diced tomatoes is $1.29, and the unit price is .08/0z. Compared to a 32 oz. can of unsalted diced tomatoes is $1.99, and the unit price is .06/oz. This may not seem like a lot, but often switching to the store brand or another brand the unit price may be significantly lower and the small savings here and there can add up at the cash register.

 EAT HEALTHY

March is National Nutrition Month! Research has shown that eating a variety of fruit and veggies on a daily basis will:

•             Strengthen your immune system

•             Lower your risk for certain cancers

•             Help prevent type 2 diabetes

•             Reduce high blood pressure

•             Prevent some eye diseases

•             Keep your urinary tract healthy

•             Support a healthy heart

•             Keep your memory sharp

•             Help build strong bones and teeth

To celebrate this month, spend each week focusing on a new color of fruits and veggies for that week. Get out the calendar research the fruit and veggies in the different color categories below, create meal ideas, and compile grocery lists with foods of the hue for that week. Use the list below to guide your weekly colors of flavor and fun.

•             1st week of March – Bright Orange and Yellow

•             2nd week of March – Blue and Purple

•             3rd week of March – Bright and deep Green

•             4th week of March – Red

PLAY EVERY DAY

Minutes add up! As a family the health benefits from regular physical activity are priceless. We all need to aim for 30 minutes of activity every day. Make time for an extra 5 minutes each day to increase your heart rates and use your leg muscles. An addition of 5 minutes of walking can be an increase of 500 – 1,000 steps per day. Over one week your family could expand its physical activity goals by 35 minutes. Be creative as a family to identify all the opportunities to add five. Add a two song dance party several nights a week. If you have a hallway practice walking lunges up and down the hall. Sneak a quick brisk walk around the block before a meal. Have fun finding the bonus five this month.