The New Year is beginning and many of us will use this time to choose a resolution or two to work on. Why not make a resolution as a family this year? There are many things we can do to improve how we feel each day. This can be a great way to be a role model for your kids, teach them all about goal setting, and enjoy working together.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Eat dinner together. Making time for a family meal may be tough, but it has great health benefits and is quality time spent together. Aim to increase the number of nights your family eats together without any distractions. Include your kids in meal preparation and try new fruits and veggies. Make it special and set the table, play relaxing music, or light a candle.
2. Get active together . Make exercise fun rather than a chore. Try something the entire family can do like a walk at the park or hiking trail, play a family game of tag, have an indoor dance party, or ride bikes together. Do you want to train and complete a 5K race as a family? Make a reasonable goal that you can stick to and have fun!
3. Get enough sleep. Little ones and teens may fight you on this one, but everyone will feel so much better when they are well rested. Sleep can also support a healthy appetite, energy level, and immune system. Try going to the bed at the same time every night. Develop a bedtime routine that sets you up for restfulness. Sleep needs vary by age, so adjust each child’s bedtime accordingly.
4. Unplug. We can all benefit from less screen time. Limit TV, phone, computer, and video games to a set number of hours per day. The AAP recommends that for children 2 to 5 years of age, screen time should be limited to one hour per day. Start by excluding screens at meal times. An advanced goal might be no electronics for a full day once a month or even once per week.
5. Say no. Feel OK about saying no to more commitments each year. Limit your activities to things you love so you have time to spend on yourself and your family. Happy Healthy New Year!
By: Sarah Carvaines, MPH, RD, LD