Did you make a new year’s resolution this year? If so, you’re in good company. January seems to be a natural time to start fresh, but sticking with most of your new year’s resolutions is not always easy. Changes to the diet and lifestyle are always popular resolutions. However, most people have unrealistic expectations on what they can achieve healthwise. In reality many people find it hard to keep up the enthusiasm after a few months.
Gina Van Vliet, Supervisor Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at Sidra says, “Lose weight, exercise more, and adopt a healthier lifestyle top the list of new year’s resolutions. Also common in these lists is spending more time with family, children and friends.”
“When making dietary changes, start small, set a few realistic goals and focus on the positive. When you are able to actually stick with them you will find yourself eating more healthily, feeling better and with more energy. You will also start seeing results in the long run.”
“Other popular resolutions include families planning to eat at the table together and turning off the television more often. But did you realize that by spending more time together, you can actually achieve some of your healthy eating resolutions as well?”.
While modern life often prevents the whole family from sitting round the dinner table, studies have found that healthier eating is more successful when eating together as a family.
A study by researchers at the University of Leeds found that:
1 – Children who always ate a family meal together at a table consumed 125g more fruit and vegetables on average than children who never ate with their families.
2 – Even those who reported eating together only once or twice a week consumed 95g more fruit and vegetables than those who never ate together.
3 – Another boost for children’s fuit and vegetables intake is parents cutting up portions of these foods.
4 – In families where parents eat fruit and veggies every day, children had on average 80g more than children whose parents never or rarely ate fruit and veggies.
The study showed the benefits of parents setting a good example and how eating together can positively impact family mealtimes and motivate children to eat more fruit and vegetables.
Furthermore, by switching off the television sooner and undertaking other simple activities such as going out for a walk or running around a play park with your kids you can increase your metabolism, which will help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
To optimize your health, be sure to include a total of 30 minutes of physical activity every day and remember it doesn’t have to be all at once.
Healthy New Year everyone!