Healthy Resolutions for the Whole Family

CarbSmart Healthy Resolutions for the Whole Family

Yet another year has passed and with the New Year brings us resolutions. This practice has religious origins that date back to ancient times.

What is a resolution? Generally, it is a promise to one’s self to eliminate old habit and implement new, to set goals for positive achievement for the coming year. How many of us have said “This year will be different”?

It is a common practice and likely, each of us has made a resolution or two that we have not kept. I for example resolved to quit smoking every year for 6 years straight! Well that didn’t work and I ended up quitting one November after many failed “new year” attempts. Weight loss was always a resolution for me and that final dedication happened in the month of February so what is the difference between one who can keep a resolution and one who cannot?

Healthy Resolution Goals

  • Goals are too lofty
  • One may not be mentally prepared
  • Support system is lacking
  • A plan was not established

These are generally the most obvious reasons that resolutions are not kept. Maybe our goals are too lofty. Is your resolution to feed the family a healthier meal plan and lifestyle? If this is not a well-thought-out transitional plan, it is not likely to be sustainable. If you have children and you have established habits, transitioning slowly is your best bet.

Eating Family Dinner

Your first step should be communication.

If the family hears and understands your goal for their improved care through feeding, you can gently remind them as some of their old favorites become less noticeable at the dinner table.

Begin with processed packaged food. Begin offering snacks that are more natural, and contain less sugar and other undesirable ingredients. Involve the children in the preparation when possible and explain the benefits in terms that are age-appropriate for the foods that you are serving. You’re going to have resistance from these potentially addicted little beings but you are the boss! Replace those old favorites, stand your ground and if they’re hungry they will eat. We had a saying in our home “You have 2 choices, take it or leave it”.

Remember, you are in a community full of support and you have access to some of the best recipes with some simple internet searches. You know that the food you are eating is satiating, nutrient-dense and most importantly, full of flavor.

Prepare the family for your new resolutions and goals for the year and require that they too come up with ideas that will lead all of you gently to that ultimate place of harmony away from a world where convenience food is the most desirable and easiest choice.

Making Family Dinner
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Your support system is imperative!

Does your spouse, partner, day care, school or outside family members support your resolutions? If not, this can cause problems within your family thereby putting you in the position of “food cop” creating an atmosphere of dissension. Again, this is where communication is necessary. Write a letter, send an e-mail or make an appointment with others that might have participation in the feeding of your children. If necessary, pull the Pediatrician in with a letter of support addressing your desire of respect for your “healthier eating choices.” This letter can be as simple as referring to “no processed food, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, and no soy.” Don’t get wrapped up in the details of Low Carb or Paleo, just let the physician know that you are transitioning your children to a whole food diet free of potential food allergens.

How serious is your partner or spouse? If you’re feeling awesome about replacing macaroni and cheese with a dish of cheesy cauliflower and you find out that your partner/spouse took the kids out for ice cream before dinner, how will this solidify your efforts? Likely, the children will lose respect for the dictating parent and this will cause a divisiveness that your children will use until the day they move out. Parents need to be united and respectful of one another in the raising of their children even if they do not agree.

Grandparents will be your most difficult participants. There is this feeling of authority or entitlement to just “be a grandparent” and make fun decisions and choices and leave the parenting up to you. This “parenting” needs to be understood and a stern talking to or letter will help alleviate any future issues. It might be difficult based on whom you are dealing with but approach each person knowing and understanding their personal ability to receive the information. Offer to send food with the children as well as an approved food list so they have a template.

Maybe, this is the time you allow a special “approved treat” to allow the grandparents their glory and help your children decipher the difference between treats and everyday nutrition.
Planning for change is one of your most important steps. I can’t imagine transitioning an entire family to a healthier diet and lifestyle without first making a plan. Different members of the family will have varied interests, food tastes, activity levels, diagnosis, etc.

Make a list of the foods that you would like to discontinue from your weekly grocery list and replacements. If for example you purchase chips every week, think about a trail mix, toasted coconut, homemade sweet potato chips or kale chips. So frequently, texture and taste bud tantalization is what we are aiming to please so think crunchy, salty and tasty!

CarbSmart Healthy Resolutions for the Whole Family

How about lifestyle? Are you a bona-fide “couch potato” family? Is there a constant stream of sports, reality shows and video games in your home on television or the computer? Resolve to take 20 minutes each day as a family for some sort of physical activity. If you live in an area that is not conducive to outdoor activities, do some general P.E. moves like jumping jacks, squats and running in-place.

It is said that it takes 21 days to implement habit. Give your family 3 full weeks of consistency and you might be surprised at what all of you can achieve!

More Low Carb Recipes & Articles by Misty Humphrey

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