There is no better time than the New Year to consider adopting some healthy habits for the whole family.
Wait. Strike that. There is NO TIME when you’re a parent.
That’s why we’ve done the work for you and came up with a few suggestions for making 2017 your family’s healthiest year yet.
Families–especially those with young children–have to constantly take stock and reassess what’s working and what’s not. And while big changes in diet are always hard, small changes that are achievable can still have a big impact.
We asked our registered dietitians to offer a few tips for making 2017 a healthy year, and here’s your family’s personal healthy growth plan for this year.
- Try to sit down to a family meal at least 3-4 times per week. When it comes to developing good eating habits, children model what they seeing going in their home and with their family members. If dinner is logistically challenging, breakfast or lunch can work as well! ~Amanda Gordon RD with Feed to Succeed
- Incorporate kids in meal preparation. This can be grocery shopping, recipe searching or prepping food–like vegetable washing, cutting (if safe!) and measuring. They will more likely be interested in the meal if they have helped! ~Gia Diakakis, RD with Feed to Succeed
- Focus on protein! All meals should have some source of protein. Have the kids identify each source or protein at meal times or ask they to come up with the protein for that meal. ~Gia Diakakis
- Find a family activity that everyone enjoys doing to get everyone up and moving! For example, family walks to the park, bike rides together, walk the dog together, swimming in the summer, or ice skating in the winter. ~Flori Brioni, RD with Feed to Succeed and La Rabida Children’s Hospital
- Commentary and pressure placed on a child or adolescent about their body appearance is most likely to result in bigger problems. Family discussions about food should revolve around health and not appearance. ~Betsy Hjelmgren, RD and founder of Feed to Succeed
- A snack is a good snack if it contributes to good health in some way, such as being a good source of protein, calcium or vitamins – like yogurt, fruit and veggies. Betsy Hjelmgren
Want to make sure your family is successful? Then, follow these simple suggestions:
1. Choose one suggestion to adopt for your family from our list or come up with your own.
2. Tell everybody your plan and post it somewhere that everyone can see it.
3. Set aside 10 minutes on your calendar for Feb. 1 to reassess if your plan is working.