Let’s Talk: Healthy Habits for the New Year

New year, new family habits! This month, take time to set goals the entire family can participate in. Our pediatrician-approved healthy habits are attainable goals your family can set and maintain throughout 2022 and beyond.

1. Snack smart.

It’s time to leave processed snacks behind. Snacks such as cookies and sodas have zero health benefits and make learning more difficult for children. Instead, make it a point to improve brain function and overall health by selecting various whole foods for your child’s snacks and lunches.

2. Eat together.

Although weekdays can be busy and oftentimes stressful, we encourage you to enjoy quality moments as a family during mealtime. It is important to leave stress behind and not rush when sitting down at the table. Prioritizing mealtime allows everyone to focus on a healthy meal and open conversations.

3. Turn off electronics.

While watching TV as a family is easy and relaxing, crafts, volunteering, and board games promote conversations and allow everyone to contribute. Spark traditions, laughter, and memories through tangible bonds by taking time away from electronics.

4. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Set up a time before bed, at the end of dinner, or on the way to school where everyone can reflect on what they are grateful for. Sharing each family member’s appreciation for life brings positive energy and self-reflection into the daily routine.

5. Participate in daily physical activities.

Daily physical activity lowers the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, while walks improve mood and memory. To keep kids engaged and encouraged, find activities that align with your child’s interests and model positive attitudes surrounding physical activity.

6. Get quality sleep.

Aim for early bedtimes and establish a consistent routine of winding down. Take time to relax and recharge by incorporating mindful practices or calm reading time before bed, to reduce and manage stress together. Additionally, consider removing electronics from the bedroom at night.

7. Be proactive with health care.

Stay on top of your family’s health by scheduling annual checkups and doctor appointments in advance. These appointments monitor growth and behavior vital to your child’s wellbeing.

Establish a framework of the categories you want to focus on in 2022. Involve your children when developing new family habits, allowing your kids to understand the benefits of each practice, feel involved in the process, and get motivated to maintain the new goals. Finally, post your family’s 2022 healthy habits somewhere at home where everyone can see and reflect on them.