Ready to Make Your Family Resolutions for 2017?

Another new year brings a wonderful opportunity for some New Year’s Resolutions for 2017! Many people make grand plans to join a gym and go every day, give up whole food groups, or vow to lose 20 pounds. It’s much easier to stick with little changes, and by getting your kids involved, you can help improve everyone’s new year.

Improve your family’s eating habits.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Are your family members meeting this goal? Sneaking in extras might mean a banana with cereal, fruit on yogurt, a tangerine in the lunchbox and an extra vegetable option with dinner. Smoothies are another great option, but skip the juice, as most are loaded with sugar. Many families make healthy changes in their diet by adopting “Meatless Mondays” or by cutting back on eating out. You might also try getting your kids involved in growing their food, as kids who’ve invested their time in growing the vegetable, are much more likely to try it – and like it! One simple change that makes a big and lasting impact is simply committing to eating together as a family. No matter what’s on the menu, a family dinner is wonderful for your child’s mental and emotional health.

Get your family moving!
The AAP also recommends an hour of activity per day for kids. This can be a challenging goal to meet during the week with school, homework, and activities often taking up all of the waking hours. If you can find little ways to add a few steps to the day as a family, it may help everyone become more physically fit and healthy. If you live within walking distance of your kids’ school, try leaving the house a few minutes early one or two days a week and taking them for a walk. A little activity in the morning will jumpstart your metabolism and help your kids focus on the day ahead. If your afternoon is more flexible, maybe a short trip to the local park to blow off some steam before diving into homework would work better. If all else fails, crank your kids’ favorite music and have a dance party while dinner is in the oven!

On the weekends, your family can get plenty of exercise while taking advantage of the beautiful weather and scenery San Diego has to offer. A bike ride around Mission Bay, a walk in Mission Trails Regional Park or a hike up Cowles Mountain can provide hours of entertainment and quality family time together. Consider a family membership to your local YMCA or an all-ages yoga class if you’d rather be indoors.

Make sure your family gets enough sleep.
After all that activity, prioritize adequate sleep for everyone in the family. Make bedtime a set time every day of the week to make sure the whole family is rested. If your kids stay up much later on the weekends than they do during the week, the first few days of the week may be spent trying to catch up on sleep. By keeping a set bedtime, you can guarantee that everyone – including Mom and Dad – gets the rest they need.

Scheduled your wellness visits.
Lastly, don’t forget to schedule your family’s wellness checks. Look ahead to upcoming days off – President’s Day, Spring Break, etc. – and call your CPCMG pediatrician as soon as possible to snag an appointment on those prime days to avoid missing school. And it’s not too late for the family to get flu shots to prevent influenza. The flu season is just gearing up and providing that extra protection for your busy family is just what the doctor ordered.

With some small changes and a little extra effort, by the end of 2017, your whole family could be healthier and happier!