Healthy in the New Year
Did you put ‘get healthy’ on your list of resolutions this year? How about ‘eat healthier’? Are you hoping to feed your family better food this year and improve everyone’s health?
These are fantastic goals, and pretty popular resolutions. But they are so tough to achieve. Large and nearly all-encompassing, it’s no wonder that many of us drop these resolutions just weeks into the year and feel lost as to where to turn next.
If you want to eat healthier this year, try starting with small steps. Pick just one of the items below and give it a try for a few weeks. Then add another. A series of small steps is so much easier to accomplish than a big, scary resolution.
1. Replace just one meal a week with something homemade
By the end of last year, we had gotten into a bit of a blue box of mac ‘n cheese rut. This year, we haven’t eliminated the guaranteed crowd-pleasing combo of pasta and melted cheese. But instead, we make it at home with whole grain pasta, cheese we know is real, and no preservatives.
2. Add a side of veggies
Our family observes a very long-standing tradition of pizza on Friday nights. And I love it just as much as my kids—hey, it’s one night a week that I don’t have to plan a meal. But this year, we’ve started to order or prepare a side of veggies—usually carrots or broccoli—for our kids to munch between bites of cheese and dough.
3. Sip some tea
Something about the holidays makes me crave milk and cookies. So much so that I find myself in a habit I badly need to break when January arrives. This year, I’ve replaced my nightly cookie treat with a cup of green tea with honey. The honey gives it the sweetness I’m craving but without the added sugar and calories.
4. Start small for your kids too
Have your kids also fallen into some sugar-happy habits? Don’t try to cut them off all at once either. Tell her she can have chocolate milk but only every other day or tell him his nightly cookie snack is now a treat he can have on the weekends.
5. Don’t cut, just limit
Few things are bad for us when enjoyed in moderation. And cutting yourself off from that delicious Starbucks drink completely will only make you crave it more. So don’t cut it out. Just cut it back.
Most importantly, do it together. Healthy eating is something that is so much easier to do with support. So make the commitment as a family to eat better in 2014.