Eat Well and Exercise

Tips and Resources

With disruptions in routine and increased stress brought on by the pandemic, healthy habits can be hard to keep. Explore below to find creative, sustainable ways to stay active and eat well during the pandemic and beyond.

Tips

General

  1. Prioritize healthy habits now
  2. Reduce availability of high-calorie snacks and sugary beverages
  3. Recognize stress and boredom eating. Be careful not to mistake thirst for hunger
  4. Plan dinners where the whole family sits at the table. Keep mealtimes friendly. No lectures or arguing
  5. Get help if you are experiencing food insecurity
  6. Take care not to drink alcohol excessively. Follow guidelines for alcohol consumption from the CDC
  7. Incorporate exercise into your routine. Try involving the whole family in exercising
  8. Try a fitness tracker app or device
  9. Create or stay in touch with an online fitness group
  10. Find what works for you. Is this getting up frequently for short walks, or dedicating blocks of time for exercise?

For Teens

  1. Make sure that your teens eat breakfast every morning, even if they are in a hurry
  2. Involve your teens in meal planning. Set exercise goals together
  3. Remind your teen that having a healthy body doesn’t mean hitting a certain weight or fitting into a certain size
  4. If you are worried that your teen may be inappropriately worried about his or her weight, get help
  5. When possible, encourage your teens to get outside. Try assigning calorie-burning chores, like mowing the lawn or shoveling snow

For Kids

  1. Set regular meal and snack times to avoid all-day grazing
  2. Make sure that healthy snack options are within easy sight and reach
  3. Encourage children to fill up a quarter or half of their plate with vegetables
  4. Have kids eat at the table and not in front of a TV so that they are focused on their food and less likely to overeat. Don’t force kids to eat everything on their plate
  5. Schedule time for movement and exercise. The AAP recommends kids get at least 60 minutes of activity per day

For Infants and Toddlers

  1. Visit HealthyChildren.org for nutrition guidelines and support for your infant and toddler

Articles

Videos

Activities

Frequently Asked Questions: Keeping Healthy Habits

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Q.

My children do a lot of “grazing” at home. How can I help limit snacking and promote healthier eating habits?

A.

Stick to a meal and snack schedule and limit the availability of packaged snacks. Don’t allow snacking close to mealtimes. Keep healthy snacks like sliced vegetables and fruits more available.

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Q.

My kids resist when I find ways for them to be active. How can we overcome this?

A.

Share the videos and activities above with your kids, or do your own search. Have them select what they think looks like the most fun or the most achievable. Be willing to compromise. Get active with them.

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Q.

My child plays a team sport, and I am nervous to let him participate given the spread of the virus, but I still really want him or her to stay active. Should I let my child play in team sports right now?

A.

Please refer to the CDC’s guidelines on playing sports during the current pandemic here. If you have further questions or concerns, your child’s primary care physician is a good resource to help make this decision based on your child’s specific health and needs.

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Q.

My local gym has opened back up, and I would really like to go exercise there. Is this safe to do?

A.

Many gyms are following strict sanitation guidelines and masking policies. Check your specific gym’s protocols to determine if they are following healthy practices. If you do choose to go to the gym, make sure to maintain social distance and keep your mask on. Wash your hands often, and sanitize any equipment you use before and after use. Many gyms are offering virtual classes as a part of their memberships. Inquire about this possibility and use this resource instead of physically going to the gym if possible.

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