The Just One Thing Rule

By Jennifer Yoon, RDN/LDN, Breastfeeding Educator, Pediatric Alliance — St. Clair




As a single mother of three with a never-ending list of home improvement projects and list of things-to-do, I have one rule that helps keep my house clean and organized. I call it the “Just One Thing Rule.” Besides the day-to-day tasks, before I sit down in the evening, I commit to do one household chore. Perhaps it’s putting away a load of laundry, doing a quick dusting, or running the vacuum. This daily commitment keeps the work from piling up to an unmanageable degree. 

The same concept can be applied to making healthy lifestyle changes. Often if our eating or lifestyle habits, or those of our family or children, are in need of change, those changes can be overwhelming. We know the changes that need to be made and don’t feel we have what it takes to overhaul our lives. But could you do Just One Thing?

Here is a list of Just One Things you and your family could try to improve your health:

• Drink water rather than juice, regular soda, or sports drinks. There are also many naturally flavored, calorie-free drinks available. 

• Take a family walk daily.

• Turn off devices for the evening.

• Limit eating out to once a week, OR, eat out one less time a week.

• Eat more vegetables.

• Pack lunch.

• Leave high fat, high sugar sweets such as cookies and ice cream at the store.

• Buy fruit popsicles, sorbet, sherbet, vanilla wafers, or graham crackers instead.

• Buy lean meats such as turkey or chicken.

• Avoid high fat meats such as sausage, pepperoni, and salami.

• Cook on the grill.

• Avoid fried foods.

• Buy only baked snacks and chips.

• Eat whole grains and fruit for breakfast.


These changes may seem small, but starting with Just One Thing and continuing to add on new changes can result in better health for you and your family over time.



*** Jennifer Yoon sees patients at the Pediatric Alliance — St. Clair office. For an appointment, please call (412) 221-2121. Read more from Jennifer’s “Nutrition 4 Kids” column on The PediaBlog here.