The tradition of making a New Year’s resolution is a way to turn over a new leaf, get a fresh start and set goals for the coming year. For many people, their New Year’s resolutions are about getting healthier.
This year, include your kids in this fun (and also motivating) tradition to get them thinking and living healthfully long-term. Now is the time to encourage healthy habits that they will hopefully carry with them into their adult lives. Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas to pass on to your kids for a happy, healthy year ahead.
Exercise keeps our bodies healthy, and it releases endorphins that can calm nerves and improve mood. Children ages 5 to 18 should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day for optimal health.
You can work out as a family, and you don’t have to do anything too strenuous for positive results. Make a resolution to do a physical activity every day, such as taking a walk together, stretching, swimming or playing your child’s favorite sport. These are great ways to encourage and include exercise in their daily lives.
Less Screen Time
In our digital world, it’s important to make sure our kids aren’t overdoing screen time. Too much can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, sleep deprivation, impaired social skills, weakened emotional judgment and lower self-esteem.
If you think your child is spending too much time on devices, a New Year’s resolution could be to trade out some screen time for time outdoors or to spend more time with family.
Optimize their environment by keeping devices out of their bedrooms, designating the dining table as a screen-free zone and seeking other activities to relax are easy ways to eliminate temptation and teach healthier avenues to experience life. Encourage outdoor activities, brain-stimulating games and plenty of movement that won’t have them reaching for a screen.
Encouraging a healthy diet from a young age sets your child up for a healthy life. As a family, you might make a resolution to eat more greens every day, eat fewer sweets, cook at home more or eliminate meat and dairy from the table one or two days a week.
Kids should be eating a diet with lots of variety so they get all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and adequate calcium.
Serving others is good for everyone involved. It’s been shown to have long-term mental and physical health benefits. Volunteering as a family is a way to open the hearts of kids and teens and build empathy and compassion for others while also helping them be happier and healthier.
You can make a New Year’s resolution to volunteer together once a month. Ideas include donating clothes, sending a care package to military members, spending time with nursing home patients or helping out at an animal shelter.
A grateful life is a happy one. Instilling an attitude of gratitude in kids sets them on the right path to a positive outlook, appreciating what they have and seeing the glass as half full. A healthy outlook is proven to lead to healthier outcomes.
A good New Year’s resolution might be to encourage them to write three things they’re grateful for in their journal every night for a year. Then they can look at their journal whenever they want to count their blessings. As a family, you could make a resolution to share one thing that each family member is grateful for at the dinner table each night.
Healthy Living for the Whole Year
At AdventHealth for Children, we want to see you, your kids and your entire family happy, healthy and whole. Our commitment is to help you and your children achieve your health goals no matter what time of year it is. Visit us here or contact our health navigation team to find a physician who is committed to helping you and your family achieve your health goals.