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Are your healthy habits slipping?

Are your healthy habits slipping?

Maybe you started out strong. You and your family ate healthy meals, exercised regularly and got plenty of sleep. There’s a good chance you’ve experienced a slump at some point.

Here are some things you can add back to your daily routine.

  • Keep busy: Minds may often get bored or restless from staying home. This can quickly lead to unhealthy habits like indulging in too many snacks or spending too much time in front of the TV, computer or tablet. Avoid this by learning something new with your family, like a new recipe, snack, sport, dance or craft (painting, jewelry making, science kits or gardening.)
  • Stay on schedule: In a world of unknowns, sticking to a routine helps keep things as normal as possible for kids and adults alike. This includes going to bed and waking up at appropriate times and aiming for at least eight hours of sleep. To promote sleep, limit or avoid TV and electronics and encourage reading or read your child a bedtime story. Keep a daily to-do list of regular chores as well as fun activities.
  • Get physical: Aim for 60 minutes of physical activity a day. It’s officially summer — get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine every day. Twenty minutes of direct sunlight helps the body naturally produce vitamin D, which is important in immune health and maintaining healthy bones. Go for a walk, ride a bike or scooter, play a game or sport. Get creative and a plan a scavenger hunt or create a new game as a family. Outside not an option? Create an obstacle course indoors, have a dance party or use indoor equipment if you have it (stationary bike, treadmill, self trampoline.) Limit screen time to no more than two hours per day.
  • Keep stress away: Practice stress management through yoga, meditation, soaking in the tub, cuddling with your kids and/or pets and talking to a friend or family member. Remember this time is hard on everyone. Make time for friends and family, and use technology as needed to talk “face to face” when you are physically unable to do so.

Megan Kochanek is a pediatric dietitian at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

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Megan Kochanek

Megan Kochanek is a pediatric dietitian at Advocate Children's Hospital.