Hello Spring Goodbye Winter Blues!

By Juliana Jacobs, contributing writer.

Spring is finally right around the corner! We can bid farewell to freezing weather, snowstorms and puffy, often unflattering winter attire.

Although it’s easy to transition out of our winter wardrobes, it is often more difficult to get our bodies and minds into the spring spirit.

Here are some tricks for leaving the winter blues and bulge behind for a healthy and active spring!

Family Time Outside: Time to get active outside! Get the kids away from the television, computers and video games and spend time as family outside enjoying the beautiful spring weather. Take a walk in the park, go rollerblading, play a game of tennis or take a bike ride around the neighborhood. Getting active outside will lift everyone’s spirits and get the whole family back into spring mode.

Clean Out The Kitchen Pantry:
Start spring off on the right foot by cleaning out your kitchen pantry and cabinets. Get rid of any sugary, processed snacks and fill your pantry with healthy, well- balanced food. For instance, replace processed chips, cookies and candy with nuts, low- fat cheese sticks, pretzels and granola bars.

These low- fat and protein- rich snack options are perfect for both you and your children. Although chips and cookies may taste delicious, they are merely empty calories that will not benefit your body or provide efficient energy. Even these small changes will make a big difference in how you and your family look and feel!

Go Green:
Spring also signifies that fresh vegetables and fruit are in season. Stock your refrigerator with tons of vitamin- filled and antioxidant- rich fruits and veggies to snack on. Celery with a little peanut butter, carrots with hummus and cherry tomatoes with laughing cow cheese are low- calorie, delicious snack options that everyone will enjoy. And the best part- your kids won’t even feel like they are eating vegetables!

Fruit is also a perfect snack option. Apples are tasty and filling and will definitely keep you satisfied for longer periods of time. Add a little honey or peanut butter for a little extra flavor. Mixed berries are also fantastic to snack on and are a great addition to yogurt, cereal, cottage cheese etc. For that sweet tooth, add a little sugar or splenda to a bowl of mixed berries and you have a perfectly tasty dessert!

Water, Water Everywhere!:
This may sound obvious, but it’s so important to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Water flushes toxins out of your body and keeps you hydrated, unlike sugary sodas. This spring, turn over a new leaf and ditch sugary juices and sodas for water or seltzer. Flavored seltzer is carbonated and has no calories so is a healthy and delicious substitute for soda- lovers. Just remember, don’t drink your calories with sugary drinks!

Even these small changes will make a big difference in how you and your family embark on the spring season. No need to change everything all at once- this can get overwhelming! Small lifestyle tweaks such as cleaning out the cabinets and spending more family time outside can go a long way.

Wishing your family a happy, healthy and sunny spring season from the Healthy Start team!