Many people think living a healthy lifestyle is just for adults. Adolescents, however, also need good nutrition, exercise, and sleep to help support their growing bodies. By setting health goals as a family you’re not only getting more time to bond, you’re able to achieve goals as a team. In fact, when families work together at losing weight and developing healthy habits, they have greater success. Below are 10 tips to set family goals and get healthy together:
- The More Specific the Better: Instead of saying your family’s goal is to “be more active” define how you’re going to be more active as a team. A more specific goal would be “we will walk every evening for 50 minutes together. “
- Be Realistic: Don’t set your family up for failure by making your goals too difficult to achieve. Choose smaller goals that can be the steppingstones to larger goals.
- Create a Timeline for Success: By setting a timeframe everyone will be on the same page and will be held accountable.
- Jot Down Your Goals: Let your kids write down your shared goals and keep them involved in every step. This will keep them excited about your new journey. Remember to display your goals on the refrigerator so that it can serve as a reminder.
- Schedule Weekly Family Meetings: Congratulate each other on your success and brainstorm on areas that need improvement.
- Host Family Exercise Activities: Some fun ideas include volleyball, racquetball, basketball, soccer, or a relay-race. If it’s too cold outside try small tournaments indoors, like who can do the most jumping jacks, sit-ups, or pushups.
- Consider A Family Cook-Off: The rules can be simple, whichever team creates the healthiest and best tasting dish wins. The judge can be a friend, neighbor, or relative who is a healthy foodie at heart. Lastly, create a prize as an incentive such as choosing the snack at family game night or movie night.
- Make Healthy Foods Easy to Eat: Kids can be picky, which is why letting them pick from a list of healthy options can be beneficial. Keep a list visible while leaving a fruit bowl out on the kitchen counter. Prefer they eat carrots over sugary yogurts? Stash the carrots up front and the yogurt in the crisper.
- Try New Foods: It’s not unusual for kids to reject a new, healthy food 10 times – then finally accept it on the 11th. Keep trying. And bring in the cavalry if you must. For example, your child may be more excited to try pineapple if she knew it was one of Taylor Swift’s favorite fruits.
- Speak Their Language: You may be motivated to lose weight to prevent life-threatening diseases like diabetes and hypertension, but your kids probably won’t relate. Instead, point out the benefits – like being a faster base runner – losing weight can have on their lives right now.
Remember, there is no need to go at it alone! Seek out your child’s pediatrician for some expert advice on keeping your kids healthy. We are also here to help! Medi-Weightloss® offers an Adolescent Program that empowers adolescents ages 12-18 to live healthier lives. Contact your nearest location for more information!