Kick off a healthy new year in your family with these resolutions. You’ll boost the odds that you’ll keep your resolutions by involving your family and friends.
Resolve to Eat Good Foods
Simple changes to meals can make it easy for your family to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables every day.
____ Cook with canned or frozen vegetables. On busy weeknights, pull out frozen or canned produce to make healthy meals quickly. Look for frozen vegetables without sauce, or low-sodium canned vegetables.
____ Look for alternatives to red meat. Get the benefits of protein with limited amounts of fat by serving your family skinless chicken or turkey breasts and other proteins such as beans, soy, and nuts.
____ Let kids play with their healthy food. Set up a pizza bar using whole wheat muffins as the ‘crust,’ with low-fat mozzarella, sliced mushrooms or bell pepper, and olives on top. Or let the kids make faces or other pictures out of carrot sticks and raisins – and then eat them.
____ Prepare healthy snacks in advance. Bring home a melon, cut it up, and keep it in a bowl in the front of the fridge for snack time. Or slice cucumbers, celery, and carrot sticks to put in small bags. When the mood strikes, the kids can grab and go.
___Keep chilled water and calcium-fortified drinks in the fridge. Leave the sodas and sugary juices at the store. Kids will grab cold water if it’s handy.
Resolve to Make New Moves
____ Play active games. Whether it's tickle monster, jump rope, or dancing with your kids to their favorite music, you can play and exercise at the same time.
____ Plan active family outings. Depending on your kids' ages and interests, you might plan family outings at the park, ice-skating, or hiking on a nearby trail.
____ Walk it out. Make regular walks a part of your day. Plan treks around the neighborhood. Or make a habit of parking farther away from your destination and walking to it.
____ Sign up. Register your family for a fun run, charity walk, or other active event, and then train for it together.
Resolve to Think New Thoughts
The way you look at the world can have a surprising impact on your health and wellbeing. Work the muscles in your brain to build a healthy outlook.
____ Question commercials. By age 12, kids see an average of five ads for fast food a day. Teach your kids to be media savvy. When a commercial comes on, ask your kids who they think made it, why they made it, and what information might be missing.
____ Enjoy what you have. It’s easy to overlook what’s going well in your life in the rush to get fit, eat healthier, and be a better person. Take stock of what you feel grateful for -- your family, friends, or simply a beautiful sunset. When you stop and notice what makes you happy, you can celebrate your life anew.