Tips, Tools and Activities
The lights are packed up, the holiday goodies are all gone, and the beloved relatives have gone back to their respective homes. The aftermath of the holiday cheer may bring feelings of sadness. However, do not fret. It's a new year! Embrace this month to take on new challenges or bring back goals you wanted to achieve before the holidays started. To help get you and your family on the right foot, here are a few tips to enjoy the remaining winter months:
- Set resolutions. Use short and long term goals to start out the year and give the family something to look forward to. Set age appropriate goals for everyone in the family and highlight them on the refrigerator.
- Reward yourself and the family. After achieving small goals, be proud of what you accomplished. Treat yourself and the family to a fun movie, a spa day, or new books.
- Exercise. Physical activity helps boost happy feelings! Take the family ice skating, play in the snow, or go on a pleasant evening walk.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race: After eating several “sometimes” foods over the holiday season, the family may be eager to return to healthier meal times. However, do not try to adjust too quickly. Our bodies are used to all the foods we’ve been eating over the holiday months and a change that is too drastic may confuse our bodies and we will revert back to wanting more of the holiday goodies. Therefore, we need to slowly move back to making healthier food choices. This means the family doesn’t have to cut out all “sometimes” food overnight. Gradually decrease the frequency with which you consume high-sugar foods. Over time, your family will be eating more of the healthier options and less of the “sometimes” foods.
Resetting Sleep Patterns: There are many benefits to getting an adequate amount of sleep. It is a time to recharge your brain for learning, memory, metabolism, weight control, resetting hormones, keeping illnesses at bay, and more. At this time of year, everyone's sleep patterns shift a few hours because we tend to stay up later during the holidays. Although it is difficult to go to bed early after the holidays, set the alarms to wake up at the time you want the household to start moving in the morning. This will automatically prompt the kids to start getting tired around their usual bedtime.
Q: How do I ensure my children are eating a variety of foods?
A: All kids can be selective eaters at some point, especially toddlers. Toddlers are more interested in the world around them and are hesitant to try new food. When your child is going through the different food preference stages, there are a few things you can do to manage the meal time.
- Divide the responsibility. You provide and prepare the food. Your children will decide whether they will eat the food and how much they will eat. Over time, their palates will change and they will start to like foods they didn't like before.
- Create a calm environment while having meals. Children are more likely to accept new foods when they are relaxed.
- Make everything child friendly (such as utensils and plates) and serve foods in a family style fashion. Also, be okay with the occasional spill or drips. This will help keep the atmosphere relaxed.
- Avoid distractions. Turn off all noise and electronics to help your child focus on their plate. This ritual should be followed throughout the lifespan.
- Involve the whole family in the meal planning and preparation process. Assign age appropriate tasks. Everyone will be more likely to try new food if they took part in the meal preparation.