MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — January is Family Fit Lifestyle month — a time where families are encouraged to have a healthy start to the New Year.

The month long campaign was put in place by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). LifeTime Fitness Registered Dietitian Alicia Rodriquez has advice to get started.

“I like to (use) veggies and hummus. These are yummy and the best thing about humus is that it comes in different flavors,” said Rodriguez.

She also suggests dipping vegetables in guacamole made fresh avocado and salsa. When it comes to fruits, Greek yogurt will add flavor and extra nutrition.

“Greek yogurts are really nice because they’re high in protein, and they don’t have as much sugar as some of the regular common yogurts,” said Rodriguez.

Keeping track of which carbohydrates are the best for the family can be confusing. That’s why Rodriquez suggest filling your family up on complex carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables.

“Those are going to sustain us a little bit longer and give us more energy, instead of the simple carbs which are going to give us high energy, and then we’re going to drop really fast,” she said.

Simple carbohydrates include: pastas, breads, and cereal bars.

To get kids excited about eating right, Rodriguez advises parents to get their kids involved in preparing the food.

Eating right is merely half the battle when it comes to living well. LifeTime Personal Trainer Nick Ovenden said there’s no better time to be more active than right now.

“There will always be excuses. In the spring time it’ll be too wet, there’s always weather related excuses (like) ‘I’m too busy,'” he said.

Ovenden suggests finding activities for the families to do inside, including finding ways to time kids when running homemade obstacle courses.

“Go back to the basics and do some of the fun things that you’ve done growing up,” he said.

Ovenden also recommends jumping rope and hula hooping as a fun family activity. He said it’s the most effective if kids start good fitness habits early in life.

“We want to make smaller changes that are longer lasting that will carry on throughout a lifetime,” said Ovenden.


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