Costumes. Cider. Leaves. Pumpkins. Fall offers fun ways to build healthy habits.
How do you help kids learn healthy habits?
Pediatricians at PeaceHealth encourage people to use 5-2-1-0 every day. Each number stands for goals and actions that build good health practices over time. Best of all— you can make each one fun.
Look for fresh ways for your family to adopt long-term habits in every season.
Here are a few ideas to try in October:
To eat 5 veggies and fruits per day – Put some pumpkin on your plate.
Pumpkins make great jack-o-lanterns. Do your kids also know pumpkin is good to eat? Pumpkin is actually considered a fruit. And it’s loaded with vitamins. Fun fact: It can even be used as a fat substitute in baking.
If you’re heading to the pumpkin patch, consider grabbing an extra one to use in a sweet or savory recipe.
And save the seeds from your carved pumpkin. You can try them roasted. Or plant some in the garden next year.
To limit screen time under two hours – Make a costume.
Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, people of all ages enjoy dressing up now and then. (Cosplay, anyone?)
Help the kids make their own costumes using whatever you have on hand.
If your children are old enough, maybe they’d like to try sewing.
Otherwise, they can use safety pins, paper clips or clothes pins to connect pieces of fabric or paper. They can also use markers, paint and tape on paper or cardboard.
Check out this post on DIY costumes to spark some ideas.
To get one hour of daily movement – Rake the yard or sweep the sidewalk.
Are the trees in your yard or neighborhood starting to drop their leaves?
Grab a rake or broom. Raking and sweeping are good exercise. It also feels good to clean up the yard, sidewalk or driveway before the weather turns wet and cold.
If you don’t have yard waste service, put the leaves in your compost bin or use them as mulch in your garden or flower beds.
Don’t have a yard? Ask your neighbors if they could use some help.
Or go for walk at the park or in the woods to enjoy the earthy scents of autumn.
To encourage zero-sugar drinks – Sample freshly pressed apple cider.
In the fall, many grocery stores and street markets carry fresh apple cider. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might look for places like pumpkin farms or fall festivals where your family can try using a cider press.
Fresh cider has lots of nutrients and is naturally sweet. See if it’s something your family likes.