Healthy Resolutions - A Family Affair

Healthy Resolutions - A family affair

Olivia Munger, is a Registered Dietitian in the Children's Health Get Up and Go program, gives parents three tips for a healthier new year.

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Family enjoying a meal together

Q.  My New Year’s resolution is to eat more vegetables and be physically active, but my family wants no part of it! What can I do?

A.  It can be hard to work toward individual goals without family support. The routines and demands of family life don’t stop because you’ve decided to work toward a healthier lifestyle. Bringing the whole family together for a 2017 goal-setting session can help you to be more successful in meeting your personal goals. Getting everyone in the family involved and planning to get healthy together ensures commitment and support from each family member.

3 Tips for a Healthier New Year

Here are a few ideas to get your family started on your New Year’s resolution:

Olivia Munger is a Registered Dietitian in the Children’s Health Get Up & Go program.
Olivia Munger is a Registered Dietitian in the Children’s HealthSM Get Up & Go program.

1. Make it about fun and exploration: Especially when it comes to food and activity, focus on fun! Even though you may want to focus on health, framing it that way can seem like punishment. When we think of healthy food, boring salads usually come to mind.

Find recipes for new vegetables or try new recipes for vegetables your family already loves. Just try mixing things up! Learning how to use new spices can go a long way to adding excitement to your menu. Try new cuisines like Thai or Mediterranean that have healthy options and new flavors.

If you want to be more active, look for new ways to incorporate physical activity. Rent a Zumba video from the library, set up a soccer game with family and friends or visit a new park every week to keep things interesting.

2. Get everyone’s input on how to reach goals: If you want your whole family to eat better, get them involved in the meal planning. Children can help choose their favorite vegetables, and the older kids can help you plan the entire meal.

Read our blog post about Kids in the Kitchen to learn how your kids can help in meal preparation. Also, ask children what changes they would like to see in the family and how they can help to make them happen.

3. Organize your house for success: Keeping junk food in the house is a surefire way to break your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier. It seems very simple, but don’t keep tempting foods around the house.

If you and your family want to have ice cream, it’s best to make a special trip rather than keep it in the freezer for constant temptation. Buy fruits and vegetables for snacking. Wash and cut them as soon as you get home from the store for easy access.

Small steps like these can get your family involved and set you up for success in 2017! Leave us a comment to let us know what your family’s goals are and how you are going to reach them.

cooking, cuisine, diet, dietitian, eating habits, lifestyle, nutrition, physical fitness