KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For many, the New Year means it is time to take stock of our lives and fix what we don’t like.
From diet to making an exercise routine, our children can also learn a lot about self-discipline and the value of making goals. We know kids need to be active and eat more fruits and veggies, but where do we start?
Janet Buck, clinical nutrition manager at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says start small. When it comes to your diet, she says it is better to focus on small changes rather than a big resolution. Also don’t try to make all of the healthy changes at once.
Here are some of Buck’s advice on easy changes your family can make to for a healthier new year:
- Have regular family meals – Research shows kids who take part in regular family meals are also more likely to eat fruits, vegetables and grains. They are also less likely to snack on unhealthy foods, smoke, use drugs or drink alcohol
- Serve a variety of healthy foods and snacks – Make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks by keeping fruits and veggies on hand, ready to eat. Serve lean meats and whole grain bread. Limit fast food and sugary drinks and try one or two meatless meals per week.
- Avoid battles over food – Establish a predictable schedule of meals and snacks. Don’t force kids to clean their plates, bribe or reward with food or use food as a way to show love.
- Involve kids in the process – Talk with kids about meal planning, allow them to help shop for food, let them help in meal preparation and give them healthy choices. Kids are more likely to eat a new food if they had a choice in choosing it.
- Be a role model – By eating healthy yourself, kids will follow your lead. Be sure to serve appropriate portions and don’t overeat.
- Exercise can simply be a form of play – The simplest way to get a family to exercise together is to make it fun. Whether it’s a game of kickball or riding bikes together, your family will have time to bond and get healthier.
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