Create “New” Traditions in 2016 - CAN Article January 2016
By: Margaret Jenkins, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Clermont County
If you are reading this message I am successful in attracting your attention in today’s world of distractions. Perhaps the words that attracted you are “new” followed by “traditions”. I used this oxymoron to produce a special effect that highlights our ability to make planned changes. As we move into 2016 let’s focus on creating “new traditions” to move individuals, families and communities into the world of tomorrow.
Traditions are something from the past that you want to carry forward to help shape the future. They might be customs, rituals, habits, beliefs, events or actions. These established traditions have brought our families through the ages to today. Hurray for traditions!
Why should I make “new” traditions? Last month Sarah Ghee, Director of United Way serving Brown and Clermont Counties, quoted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Childhood Obesity Brief stating “If we don't reverse this epidemic, the current generation of young people could be the first in U.S. history to live sicker and die younger than their parents' generation.” Now is the time to plan “new” traditions to move individuals, our families and communities into the future.
Start creating “new” traditions by asking yourself the following question to prepare for healthier living in 2016 and beyond.
What does living healthy mean to YOU?
Here is a sampling of what some of our program participants have said - a better quality of life with less stress, preparing and eating more nutritious meals, increasing physical activity, buying more fresh fruits and vegetables and practicing food safety at home and when eating out.
Today the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture released the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/ . I have summarized the five guidelines below so you can use them to help you create a ‘new” tradition.
- Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level.
- Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.
- Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components.
- Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.
- Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.
Now is the time to create a “new” tradition and commit to BEING HEALTHIER in 2016 and beyond! Take the PLEDGE at