Have you ever caught yourself looking into the carts of other shoppers while grocery shopping? Have you ever wondered why people have carts filled with junk food and not a nutritious item in sight? While I think a majority of us end up filling our carts with a mixture of healthy and maybe not so wholesome items, not everyone has the opportunity or education needed to make smart choices when it comes to their diets.
Did you know the CDC estimates that your zip code is a greater indicator of your health and longevity than your genetic code? In fact, your subway stop or city block can mean the difference between living in 2015 or being a hundred years behind in life expectancy, access to care and information, and access to healthy food. These are frightening statistics and the Aetna Foundation is working hard to enhance the health of the underserved, one community at a time.
Seemingly small, yet smart, choices every day build upon each other and help shape the picture of health for you and your family. Getting your family on board and getting started is often the hardest part. The Aetna Foundation is committed to assisting families in their healthy living endeavors and shares these tips for the holidays.
1. Eat well. When grocery shopping for large (or small) family meals, choose fresh, seasonal, nutritious foods as often as possible. When fresh is not possible, keep in mind that frozen and canned fruits and vegetables still offer a healthy option. To guard against nutrient loss be sure to eat your frozen fruits veggies soon after purchase and steam or microwave them rather than boiling to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins.
2. Cook together. As you plan and cook meals for your friends and family over the holidays, inviting your children to cook with you is a great way to teach them about nutrition and better food choices.
3. Get off the couch. It can be tempting to curl up on the couch and stay warm and dry during the cold winter months, but find ways to stay active with your family – like interactive dancing video games, an indoor game of hide-and-seek, or dancing during commercials while you watch your favorite TV show.