Research shows that less than half of us will stick to our New Years Resolutions by June and only 10% of us will follow through by December. Making healthy changes to your lifestyle is not easy. In fact, it’s REALLY challenging, especially for those of us who have created less-than-healthy habits over the years. Habits are actions that we take without even thinking about it. Actions like grabbing a cookie from the cookie jar as we pass through the kitchen, or taking a handful of cereal from the box when we open the pantry, or munching on snacks when we watch TV after dinner.
Many people contemplate change for years without actually creating an action plan to follow through with it. But when something big happens and our motivation suddenly goes up–let’s say when we have kids–creating positive change in our lives becomes easier because we have a strong motivator. We want to live long enough to be able to see our kids get married and have kids of their own. And we want our kids to grow up being active and eating healthfully. We want them to learn the value of good food and nutrition and we want them to have a positive body image and high self-esteem.
When you set your New Years resolution this year, think about the little ones that are watching you; soaking up every little word that you say and action that you take. The little people that adore you so very much and want to be exactly like you.
Here are ten healthy resolutions that will benefit your children as much (if not more) as you:
Have family meals at least once a day.
Family meals give you and your kids a chance to connect and catch up. Research shows that families that eat together eat more fruits and veggies, less fried foods and sugary drinks and younger children who eat with their family tend to be at a healthy weight.
Talk about your body the way you want your children to view their own
Involve your kids in meal prep, even if it gets a bit messy.
If your child has a hand in creating a meal, they will not only feel a sense of pride and achievement, but they are also more likely to eat it.
Only indulge in treats that you absolutely love and leave the ones that you don’t really love.
Save room for only those treats that you can’t live without. Your children will learn to be more mindful and selective in their treat choices too. Here are some more mindful eating tips.
Eat at your table and cuddle on the couch
Always portion out your snacks
Don’t eat right from packages or boxes.
Have a dance party in your living room once a day.
We do this almost every night before bedtime. It tuckers the kids out before bed, gives everyone an extra bit of exercise, and makes for some hilarious moments.
Fill half of your plate with veggies at least once a day.
Aim for two or three different colours to get a variety of nutrients.
Eat until your “tummy is full”, not until your plate is clean.
Listen to your internal hunger cues first and foremost and ignore external hunger cues that can lead you to overeat.
Put your utensils down in between each bite and savour your food.
Your kids will learn to pace themselves according to the people around them.