This is that time of year where everyone is making New year resolutions and for many, losing weight will be their resolution.
When we tend to focus on a "losing weight" goal, it usually means some extreme restrictive diet that makes us feel like we are "sacrificing". But it is hard to sacrifice forever and to maintain a healthy weight is a life long commitment. So in a way, we have already set ourselves up for failure by committing to do something we already know we can't do for the rest of our lives. And yes, I am certainly guilty of doing that to.
But for kids, the focus should not be on losing weight but rather eating healthy and being active. Eating healthy means eating foods from all the food groups in the correct proportion. This is also good advice for us adults. This is something we can do for the long term and the only sacrifice is really learning to eat in proper servings.
This year, I say, throw out the diet resolution and instead work as a family to eat healthy foods and a balanced meal. Work on increasing activity steadily. By working as a family, you help kids learn the importance of being healthy but in a positive way rather than a restrictive way.
To start, set small steps towards changing your habits because it is too hard to make big leaps in eating and activity levels. Help kids learn how to set healthy goals as part of a family activity that is fun and positive. Here is a great article written by our dietitian that gives a step by step planning process on how to set and achieve goals in a very fun and positive way with the kids.
If you haven't set your family goals, it is never too late. Keep it positive and keep it fun. And remember that each small change will add up to a healthier child (and family!)