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Family-Sized New Year's Resolutions

Break Bread, Bad Habits
WebMD Feature

Oh, boy. Here it comes again. The usual time of the year when you say you are going to trim down on both the junk food and where it ends up on the waistline.

The idea is as important as ever. But with America rediscovering the importance of family life, why not get everyone at home involved in the New Year's resolutions together? As the new year begins, try a new tactic to improve eating habits and the amount of time you spend with the family.

Now you don't have to turn into the Cleaver's. That's pretty unrealistic and just leads you down the dead-end street of abandoned resolutions anyway. Be practical and see what you can accomplish.

Think you can pick up a cookbook of easy low-fat meals and find a few you like?

Can you work more salad and veggies into the meals you already serve?

It's those simple changes that you make, implementing them one at a time, that have the best chance of catching on and becoming habit -- just like the number of times you'll be able to sit down and have a meal with all those other people living under your roof but on different schedules.

Pick a night -- at first, it may be weeks from now, if need be -- where everyone can plan to be home for dinner. Then see how many more nights each month it can realistically happen.

If getting everyone home for dinner during the week would require an administrative assistant to schedule and a psychiatrist to help you handle the stress, then maybe you can be a bit sneaky.

Remember the goal is to eat more healthy stuff and spend time together. What about scheduling a few family dinners on the weekends? That may be the best crack you get at everyone at home -- and you may even be cutting down on the weekend trips to the burger joint. That certainly means healthier eating and actually sticking with a New Year's resolution. And experts say you may get a few bonuses, too -- especially when it comes to parenting.

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