Now that the new year got started, this is the perfect opportunity to create new healthy habits for your kids and the entire family. The focus should always be on making nutrition and lifestyle changes that can be followed long-term. As experts in counseling kids and teens in nutrition and weight loss, here are the top 6 tips we recommend that will help your family get off to a healthy start in the new year:

#1: Set Early Bedtimes

It is very important that kids and teens get a healthy amount of sleep each night to stay focused throughout the day. They also need more sleep than adults because they are in a time of very fast physical, intellectual, and emotional growth. To help your teen stay alert and focused, most experts agree that kids should get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Sticking to a routine is important too, so don’t let weekends become a late-night free-for-all.

#2: Eat a Nutritious Breakfast

Most experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. It is also a great opportunity for your teen to get a healthy dose of essential nutrients such as calcium and fiber. To get your kids ready for breakfast each morning, consider making their bedtimes a little earlier each night so they have enough time to eat breakfast and whenever possible, can enjoy it together as a family.

#3: Stock up on Fruits & Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories! A healthy snack will also help your teen stay energized and alert during the day. To ensure your teen gets plenty of fruits and vegetables, we recommend you keep pre-washed produce available to simply grab and eat. Keep a bag of baby carrots or celery and plenty of berries, grapes, and apples for your kids to snack on during the day.

#4: Try Not to Skip Any Meals

Although skipping meals seems like a good way to lose weight, it may actually slow down your metabolism and cause you to eat more throughout the day. Studies show that teens who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who make eating a balanced meal a priority. During meal times make sure to include one food from each food group - Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, and Protein. MyPlate is a great resource that will help your family stay on track!

#5: Exercise at Least Twice a Week

It is important that your teen exercises regularly not only to stay fit but also to perform better in school! According to experts “exercise boosts academic performance in various ways: allowing kids to pay attention better and focus on their work; boosting self-esteem and mood; and increasing blood flow to the brain helping with memory and concentration.” We highly recommend that all our kids come to our Lean Teen Classes at least twice a week.

#6: Limit Liquid Calories

When it comes to building lifelong healthy habits, drinking 8 glasses of water is a must. Teens cannot replace water with juices or diet sodas! Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate which is important for weight loss. On the other hand, juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that are toxic and directly affect our hormone levels. Sugary drinks are simply empty calories and devoid of nutrients!

Maintaining Balance and Consistency

Being fit is all about learning balance and consistency while having the right guidance and support to be successful. At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids (ages 8-18) the tools to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals.

It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register your child today for a Free Day Pass so we can start helping your family use MyPlate. We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!