With each new year comes an opportunity for reflection, goal-setting and a renewed focus on things we wish to change or accomplish. The making of resolutions often goes hand-in-hand with New Year’s celebrations and can help us set our mind to make the coming year even better than the one before. When thinking about resolutions for the New Year, why not think about ways to keep your family healthy and happy?
Here’s a few ideas to help you set some “healthy” resolutions for your family:
Drink more water.
Most of us, including our kids, struggle to drink enough water each day. A great family resolution would be to cut back on sugary drinks and drink more H2O. One tip for doing that is to add a little flavor to your water by adding a fresh lemon, lime, or other fruit to it.
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends the following for kids’ daily beverage and water intake:
- 1-3 years: about 4 cups
- 4-8 years: about 7 cups
- 9-13 years: about 10 cups for boys, about 9 cups for girls
- 14-18 years: about 14 cups for boys, about 10 cups for girls
Giving back can have a positive impact on the community and your family. Recent studies have shown that people who volunteer are healthier and less lonely than those who don’t.
Check out Volunteer Iowa’s website to discover ways your family can give back to the communities where you live, work, and play.
Learn a new skill.
Physical exercise keeps your body healthy and mental exercise is key to keeping your mind sharp. Whether your family wants to learn how to sew, try paddle boarding for the first time or wants to know how to play chess…trying something new as a family will bring you closer together.
Be more outdoorsy.
I don’t think you’ll be shocked to hear that kids today spend way too much time using technology and not enough time outside. Make it a priority this year to carve out time on your crowded calendar for some outdoorsy family fun.
There’re so many ways to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors in Central Iowa. We’ve written a number of articles, here on dsm4kids, on the topic. For a little outdoor winter time fun, check out our Winter Fun Guide, which lists where you can go sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing and more in Des Moines.
Make family dinner a priority.
Studies show that eating as a family has long-term effects on kids – it teaches them social skills, as well as, healthy eating habits. Make a goal this year to sit down with the whole fam at least one night a week.
To reach this goal, keep food prep simple and enlist everyone’s help to get the meal on the table. Check out 5 EASY Week Night Family Meals that will get you in and out of the kitchen in a flash.
Stress takes a toll on adults and kids. With the busy lives and jam-packed calendars many of us have, stress is pretty much unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Learning about and participating in activities like meditation and yoga can help kids relax in the moment and long term.
Local author, Sara J. Weis, released her book “Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Lessons for Children” this year. She also has a number of other resources available on her website that shares secrets to teaching yoga to children and breathing exercises that can help kids become calm and relaxed.
Get more sleep.
Sleep deprived parents unite and resolve to get more zzz’s in the new year! For many families, bedtime can be a challenge. Hit the “reset button” at the start of the new year. Resolve to get the kids back on a schedule, stick to a bedtime routine and limit screen time.
WebMD provides these general sleep guidelines for kids:
- 1-4 Weeks:15 – 16 hours per day
- 1-4 Months:14 – 15 hours per day
- 4-12 Months:14 – 15 hours per day
- 1-3 Years:12 – 14 hours per day
- 3-6 Years:10 – 12 hours per day
- 7-12 Years:10 – 11 hours per day
- 12-18 Years:8 – 9 hours per day
What is YOUR family’s New Year’s Resolution? Share it and inspire other Des Moines parents in the Comments!