As the holidays fade to a distant memory, New Year’s resolutions often fall by the wayside. Workout gyms are packed the first two weeks of January, but look like a ghost town by the first of February!
Unfortunately, our best intentions often fail. But the GOOD news is that creating healthier habits for our children can happen at any time. It is the small, simple changes made during the unlikeliest of times – like during the freezing cold of February – that are most likely to last.
How can you make lasting change for your family and children? The key to moving from RESOLUTION to REFORMATION lies in choosing well.
1) Make changes that actually work. Pick lifestyle changes that have been proven by scientific studies to result in improved health, such as increasing fruit and veggie intake or decreasing sedentary time.
2) Start low and go slow. Set one or two goals and focus on maintaining those changes.
With those principles in mind, consider these evidence-based recommendations, and set one or two goals you think your family can reach and maintain:
- Eliminate sweetened beverages and replace with water or milk
- Eat 5 or more servings per day of fruits or vegetables daily
- Reduce screen time to 2 hours or less per day
- Get 60 minutes per day of physical activity
- Eat together
- Have breakfast every day
Any positive change will make a difference! Get started today on your New Year’s Reformation!
Joani Jack is the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics for the University Of Tennessee School Of Medicine at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, TN. In addition to teaching, Dr. Jack’s hospital roles include serving as the team leader for “Collaborate for Healthy Weight”, the medical director of the Well Newborn Nursery and multi-disciplinary childhood obesity clinic, the co-director of the Chattanooga Interdisciplinary Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Team (CICOPT), and member of the Practice Management Committee. Dr. Jack has had multiple state roles through the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and currently serves as the physician champion, content developer and physician trainer for the HEALED initiative(Healthy Eating and Living Education, the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity in the Primary Care Setting.