Jump into spring this year!

Jump into spring this year!

As the weather gets warmer bring the whole family outside to enjoy the fresh air with fun activities. Spring is a time for growth and a time to try new things- so spring clean your diet and be the best you this month. Try these easy tips:

• Look for simple swaps! Choose foods lower in solid fats, added sugars and salt. Grab low fat cheese sticks, popcorn or fresh fruit as a snack instead of reaching for candy or chips. Swap out soda for seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice.

• Choose an active lifestyle- Go for a walk, clean up the yard, toss a ball with the kids, put down the electronic devices and aim to be active 30 minutes or more most days each week. Short on time? Try activities you like for just 10 minutes at a time-it all adds up and counts towards your 30 minutes!

• Step up to a new spring challenge- think refreshing! Try adding a fruit or veggie to a meal or snack 5 days of the week. Need ideas? Dip vegetables in low fat ranch or hummus, jazz up your cereal with dried fruit, or fill a whole wheat pita with bell peppers, salsa and cheese. Try frozen bananas, melon chunks or grapes for a refreshing treat on a hot day!

• Get Creative with the kids! Let the kids join in and help make these fun snacks. Kids love fruit smoothie creations using low fat yogurt, fruit and crushed ice. Create bugs on a log: take celery or carrot sticks, spread some peanut butter and add dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries. Don’t forget to lead by example because you are their greatest role model!

• Keep an eye on the size- Snacks shouldn’t replace meals. Remember to be mindful of portion sizes. Use snack size bags to portion out smaller amounts. A single serving container of low-fat or fat-free yogurt, a handful of nuts or an individually wrapped string cheese is just enough to satisfy without adding lots of extra calories.

Don’t forget that change takes time. Start with small, simple changes-one new activity a week or a couple new snacks a week-you’re still making a difference! Set goals and don’t be afraid to try something new. Spring into better health with a more active lifestyle! Add more fruits and veggies to your day- remember to Eat Better to feel better! Visit our website at: www.eatsmartnewyork.org and www.choosemyplate.gov for tips and ideas to help you make healthier choices.

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