by Patricia Neely - Mother of 3 and Customer Support Manager for Adventure to Fitness
While adults are looking to the New Year to begin new habits that most often include losing weight and/or eating healthier, it’s also a good time to start your kids off with healthier habits, too! Here are 5 resolutions to help jump into the New Year healthy and happy:
1. Enjoy family dinnertime meals at home. Eating together as a family is more important than ever. With competing distractions and activities outside of the home, it’s been said that sitting down and eating a family meal together helps kids perform better at school, reduces stress, and improves your family relationship. Extend family time further by having the kids get involved by helping you plan and prepare at least one meal a week.
2. Eating healthier. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine eating the same foods every week. But this month, try to incorporate a new fruit or vegetable into your meal at least once a week. There are more fruits and vegetables available now in fresh, frozen, canned, and dried forms than ever before. Taking the time to introduce a variety of healthy foods to your kids improves their health and teaches them healthy eating habits that will stick with them as they grow older.
3. Exercise as a Family. Getting fit as family does not have to be time consuming or complex. It can be extremely fun and creative! Go for a pre-or post-dinner walk, bike ride, shoot a couple of hoops, kick a soccer ball around, play tag, or jump rope. Participating in exercises and activities together at least three times a week will help to establish lifelong fitness habits and is a great way to build strong family bonds and memories.
4. Turn screen time into active time. During the colder months, children tend to stay inside more often, which inevitably leads to spending too much time sedentary time in front of the TV, computer or tablet. It is estimated that kids spend over 7½ hours a day on all screen media combined. The recommended limit for screen time is less than 2 hours daily. Help your kids incorporate new active ideas like playing outside, picking up a new hobby or learning (or inventing) a new sport. If the weather does not permit, here are a few indoor activities to keep the kids moving: Duck, Duck, Goose, Red Light/Green Light, or bear and crab races.
5. Rest/Sleep – Getting plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. It is recommended that kids get 8½ to 9½ hours of sleep a night to avoid difficulty concentrating and irritability. Kids who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and get a more restful night’s sleep. The more vigorous the activity, the bigger the sleep benefit. Getting enough sleep lifts moods, improves judgment, and boosts memory.
Incorporating one or all the above resolutions into your daily family routine will no-doubt benefit your entire family and create a solid foundation for healthy habits the rest of the year!