Now that we are a couple of weeks into the new year, how are those resolutions coming along? Did some of your goals for 2018 include eating healthy and exercising more? One way to help make these common resolutions stick is by involving the whole family. Making changes together not only builds unity and carves out more important family time, but it gives your goals the chance to go the distance. When the whole family is involved, these goals can become actual lifestyle changes that will continue for years to come. Here are three takeaways for getting the whole family involved.

Let them help

Whether your kids are two or 12, it is time to get them involved in mealtime. For toddlers, this might start at the grocery store, where they can choose a fruit or vegetable that looks pretty or interesting to them. For older kids the possibilities are endless, from helping with grocery shopping to finding a new recipe on the Internet to helping cut vegetables in the kitchen. As children take on more ownership of the meal, they will be more likely to taste and enjoy those healthy dishes.

Family meal time

Once the meal is planned and prepared, make family meal time a priority, even if it’s only one meal each day. If dinner doesn’t work, try breakfast or lunch together around the table. The dinner table is one of the best places to model healthy behavior and to have conversations about the wonderful things good food can do for your body. Praise your children for their willingness to try even one bite of an unfamiliar vegetable and try not to make mealtime a battle of wills.

Get moving

While eating right is a big part of creating healthy kids, an active lifestyle is just as important. At least 60 minutes of physical activity each day is the current recommendation for kids. Make being active a regular part of your family’s routine by turning off electronics and taking a family walk, playing a game of soccer or working together in the yard. As you become more active, remember to place the focus not on weight, but on how you feel. Does your body feel stronger? Can you be active for longer periods of time? These are some of the best indicators that you are leading a healthy life.

Taryn Palmer is a registered dietitian for the Magic Valley YMCA.

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