Building New Habits for You and Your Family

As the New Year approaches we contemplate what changes we want to make for ourselves and our families.  For many, better health is a reoccurring goal.  Making a change can be daunting. We learn more and more that what we choose to  do will forever affect the lives of our families. At ChildSavers we strive to make this task easier and as informative as possible. We understand that building new habits whether for the New Year or tomorrow starts with information.

The Impact of Nutrition on Your Health

According to the Department of Human Health and Services unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity in the United States. Based on their findings about one-third of U.S. adults are obese and approximately 12.5 million of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. By making smart food choices, you can help protect yourself from these health problems.

The risk factors for adult chronic diseases, like hypertension and type 2 diabetes, are increasingly seen in younger ages, often a result of unhealthy eating habits and increased weight gain. Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so teaching children how to eat healthy at a young age will help them stay healthy throughout their life.

The link between good nutrition and healthy weight, reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore. By taking steps to eat healthy, you’ll be on your way to getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, active, and strong. As with physical activity, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it’s easier than you think!

Tips on changing your healthy lifestyle today!

  • Select a goal. Choose a goal that is the best fit for you. You’re much more likely to succeed if you set priorities that are compelling to you and feel attainable at present.
  • Ask a big question. Do I have a big dream that pairs with my goal? However, if you can’t articulate a big dream, don’t get hung up on this step. You can still succeed in moving toward your goal through these other approaches.
  • Pick your choice for change. Select a choice that feels like a sure bet. Do you want to eat healthier, stick to exercise, diet more effectively, ease stress?
  • Commit yourself. Make a written or verbal promise to yourself and one or two supporters you don’t want to let down: your partner or child, a teacher, doctor, boss, or friends.
  • Scout out easy obstacles. Maybe you’d love to try meditating, but can’t imagine having the time to do it.
  • Brainstorm ways to leap over obstacles. Now think about ways to overcome those roadblocks. Not enough time? I’ll get up 20 minutes early for exercises and fit in a 10-minute walk before lunch. Think about five to 10 healthy foods I enjoy and will put them on my grocery list.
  • Plan a simple reward. Is there a reward you might enjoy for a job well done?

Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). 7 ways to jumpstart healthy change in your life. Retrieved from

HHS Office, & Council on Sports. (2017, January 26). Importance of Good Nutrition. Retrieved from

Jason Muckle is the Nutrition Supervisor for Child Development Services at ChildSavers. He is originally from Northern Virginia but thankfully, he says, he escaped. He has lived in Richmond since 2010 and attended VCU. For most of his life, Jason has primarily worked in education, but he made a change to reflect his passion for food. Jason believes food is a vehicle for change. Currently, he teaches cooking classes to children in the city and he is looking for ways to positively change the food landscape.

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