Staying Healthy in the New Year

Today, we have Printoons creator Paula Alflen on the blog, talking all about New Years Resolutions! Printoons are unique characters created with your own fingerprints because no two fingerprints are alike. Children from ages 5 and up can create fun and wild artwork that is special like them just by using their ink fingerprints and a few simple lines drawn with a pen to create various characters in the stories. Check out our David and Goliath kit, our Noah’s Ark kit, and our Nativity kit!

Happy New Year!

Itʼs that time of year again. Time for the New Yearʼs Resolution. As a Dietitian, I am sensitive to the many advertisements that begin on December 31st for the newest weight loss and exercise programs. Of couse the success of the participants in these programs are short lived at best. The obesity statistics in our country are staggering.

What is most disturbing are the statistics related to our children. In 1982 only 4% of our young ones were considered overweight. Today, that number is closer to 30%. More children than ever in history have health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. These overweight youngsters are more likely to have weight and health complications as adults. Even if your children do not have a weight problem, there is usually room for improvement in the nutrient composition of their diets. Studies show that it is important to start healthy habits at a young age. We parents are our childrenʼs first and best teachers. This New Year, you may want to resolve to be a healthier role model and guide for your children.
Here are some suggestions:

Make sure you prepare a wide variety of healthful foods, especially fruits and vegetables. If your children are picky eaters, challenge them occasionally to retry foods. When you explain to them that their taste buds become more mature with age, they may find that eating brussel sprouts makes them feel more “grown up.” If your children avoid complete food groups, talk to their Pediatrician to see if a vitamin supplement would be recommended.

Help your children be in touch with their hunger signals. Try to eat as a family often and keep the mood relaxed, eating slowly. Allow your kids to satisfy their natural appetite and try not to “force” them to eat. Avoid television during meals and assign designated areas in the house for
eating.

Try not to use food as punishment or reward. For example, if you say, “No dessert unless you eat your vegetables” you are sending the wrong message about vegetables. Find ways to make fruits and vegetables “fun” too. Make it a family activity to explore unique produce. Has your family ever had an Ugli Fruit? How about Edemamme in the pod? If your kids help you shop and cook they will be more motivated to try these new taste sensations.

So, how does all of this relate to fingerprint art? I consider our fingerprint as Godʼs signature on each one of us. 1 Corinthians 19-20 states, “You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in you…So honor God with your bodies.” Our children can learn at an early age that the foods God made are good for us. When making food choices we can ask them to think about where that item came from. Let them know that “most” of their diet should come directly from Godʼs bounty to respect the body He gave them!