Trying to achieve a New Year healthy eating plan can be a challenge… Last year, “Get healthy” was the #1 New Year’s resolution — by a huge margin. It was almost twice as popular as the #2 resolution, “Get organized.”
But while improving your family’s health, is an easy goal to set, teaching healthy habits is a tough one to achieve.
Because when your schedule gets crazy with work, life and, of course, kids, it’s just so tempting to procrastinate on eating better.
In this post, you’ll learn 5 simple tips to make following through easier, so this can be the healthy year you want it to be.
1. Decide what “Eat Healthier” means for your family.
Without a clear target to aim for, it’s virtually impossible to make healthy changes.
Maybe you want to only eat out a certain number of times per week. Maybe you want to eliminate certain foods from your regular diet. Maybe you want to add more vegetables to every meal… or maybe you want to get really serious and eat foods that can possibly make you live longer. (Read “How Not to Die.”)
Getting crystal clear on your specific goal is Step 1 to making it happen.
A quick encouragement: Keep it doable. You can always up your game later, but setting goals that are too hard primes you for giving up.
2. Make eating healthier a goal for the whole family.
You versus your kids is a game you’re likely to lose.
It’s hard enough to make healthy changes on a busy schedule. It’s that much harder when every meal you serve is met with complaining.
So, instead of surprising your kids with this new lifestyle, talk with them about it. Tell them exactly what changes you want to make. Share some of the reasons eating healthier is important to you. Share some reasons your kids could get excited about healthy eating.
If they still need a little nudge, consider promising a prize you’ll all get if you stick with your goal for the first month.
A trip to the movies? A day at the waterpark?
Pick something your kids can get excited about.
3. Write your goal down.
Now that you know what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s time to get your goal on paper.
This is an easy step to skip, but if you’re smart, you’ll do it anyway.
Because research shows that simply writing your goal down can make you 42% more likely to achieve it.
4. Have a backup plan.
A huge reason we fail to achieve our health goals is we don’t have a backup plan for when things go wrong. So when something does, we “fall off the wagon” for the day and start feeling discouraged.
After a few rounds of this, without much progress to show, we’re often ready to give up. That’s why you need a backup plan.
Maybe it’s having a healthy meal in the freezer you can just heat up.
Or maybe it’s using a food delivery app to get a healthy meal brought to you.
When most people think of food delivery, they think of pizza. But thanks to food delivery services, you aren’t limited to fast food anymore!
You can order REAL food from REAL restaurants – a delicious Tuscan spinach & strawberry salad; Hong Kong Style Sea Bass with mushrooms and green beans; or even a small filet of salmon with mango salsa, steamed asparagus, and spaghetti squash.
And having your food delivered isn’t as expensive as you might think, especially if you take advantage of the promotions and discounts many services offer. You can give it a try with a DoorDash promo code, Caviar promo code, or Eat24 coupon.
5. Stick with it. Research says it might get easier.
When your kids reject a new food, it’s easy to assume, “I guess they just don’t like it.”
But while that may be true today, things can change faster than you think.
A helpful article on Parents.com reports:
“…it takes on average only six attempts for kids to accept [new foods].”
This is according to research done by Keith E. Williams, Ph.D., director of the feeding program at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
You can do this, New Year Healthy Eating!
Making healthy changes is tricky, but the tips I’ve shared can make it much easier. Just take small steps, and when you mess up, try again.
As my old fitness coach once told me, “Perfection is a rhythm, not a destination.”
Practice your healthier rhythm this year.