How are your new year's resolutions? Did you sign up for Active Nations and set yourself a physical activity goal? If you did, remember to log back in to the website to tick that you have completed your goal or to add another goal to your list.
The recommended physical activity level for kids is 60 minutes every day! You don't need to do the whole 60 minutes at once; you can break it down into smaller chunks. This could include the walk or cycle to school, playing at lunchtime, going to the park after school or taking part in the active schools programme.
Take the first steps to a healthier you:
This month's recipe is for quick and tasty fishcakes. To find out how to make the dish download the Flippin' Fishcakes Recipe Card [145kb], or watch our video recipe now:
You can also get recipes for dishes we've featured previously:
Did you know?
Tinned and frozen fruit/vegetables count towards your 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day and they can cost less.
School meals are healthy and nutritious and did you know your child (primary & secondary) is entitled to free school meals and clothing grants if you are in receipt of the following benefits.
Applications can be made at any time during the academic year. Application forms are available from all schools and can downloaded from here.
If you have any queries concerning free school meals please contact:
Pupil/Parent Support Unit (Schools), Lochside Education Centre, Lochside Road, Lochside, Dumfries DG2 OEL,Tel: 01387 722164.
Although the precise cause and effect relationship is yet to be established research suggests that eating the right foods can improve mental health.
There are things that you can do and things that you can eat that make you feel happier straight away Bananas can help produce the same happy chemical in your head as a pill. What's more they give you a steady supply of energy. Even if you like fruit and veg, it's hard to have five portions a day. Trouble is that you really do need that much fibre. Without it your system clogs up and you get all sad and sluggish.
Eating too much fast food or takeaway food is a great way to get really down. Experiments show that a man who ate nothing but fast food became really depressed and unhealthy within a couple of weeks. You can improve this by cutting down on the amount of takeaways you have – even if its only one or two a week.
Caffeine gives us a boost and increases feeling of alertness. However, in higher doses it produces effects similar to anxiety, disrupts sleep and can make panic attacks more likely. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, some soft drinks like coke and pepsi, and chocolate.
Kids can't help picking up our habits, The ones about food and exercise can last their whole lives and help them become healthier adults. So we need to make our habits as good as possible.
Here are some handy tips to help you and your family improve your diet and your fitness:
Take Time to be Together as a Family
Sitting down to eat together is an excellent way to catch up and chat about your day. Encouraging children to eat three good meals a day will give them the energy their growing bodies need and reduce their craving for snacks.
Keep Mealtimes Interesting
All families have their favourite meals, but don't serve them too often as they'll become boring. Varying what you eat gives everyone a chance to discover new things they like. And it'll mean mealtimes are something to look forward to. Visit the 'Take life on' website to find out more about healthy eating.
A Big Help for Small Tummies
Get into the habit of giving kids child-sized portions. Small tummies need less food and it'll reduce waste and save money too. Visit the 'think4urself' website for help and advice about what to eat and how to keep active.
Grab the Remote
Try and limit how much time your child spends watching TV or playing on the computer. Play hide and seek or head down to the park instead or if it is raining jump up and down during the advert breaks.
Make it a family tradition to go for a walk or cycle after dinner once a week. There are lots of local paths to choose from. Visit the 'GoSmart Dumfries' website to find out more.
So, how much activity?
Did you know that children should be active for 60 minutes a day? This doesn't mean you need to do it all at once it can be spread out over the day in smaller slots.
If you would like to receive recipe ideas or activity ideas, please email the Healthy Weight Communities Programme Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Healthy Weight Communities team spent 6 months talking to local people about their views on wellbeing, food and physical activity before the work programme launched on 28 August 2010.
Linda Owen, Healthy Weight Communities Programme Manager, said:
"We wanted to find out what mattered to people and what would make them change their lifestyle. It's not just about food, it's not just about exercise, it has to be about whole families making the simple changes that make a difference."
You can download a report on the outcome of the consultation [226kb] to find out more.