Planning and setting healthy family goals is something that can build over time and even the smallest steps can change to a lifestyle that will have your family healthier and happier for the long run. So where to start? This guide is made specifically for families with small children, but it could easily be adapted for families with older children as well.
1. Make goal setting a family event.
The next time you are sitting around the dinner table with your family take the opportunity to talk about healthy bodies and why our daily habits of what we eat and do can affect our body. You could share with them experiences from your life of when you have been healthy and how it has affected your mood, life, and happiness.
It is important to have each family member contributes ideas of what they think would be a healthy for themselves as an individual or as a family as a whole. In our family we have some very picky eaters and one who doesn’t like eating meat. When we set goals together he decided he would like to focus on getting healthy sources of protein in his diet. Another child decided she would like to try to get more fruit and vegetables in her diet. You can also add goals of eating organic snacks, vegetables, and fruits. I love to challenge my kids with eating something new, they say that it can take up to 15 introductions of a new food before a child will even attempt to eat it so don’t lose hope!
2. Be specific
When goal setting it is important to make each goal measurable so you can be accountable to a specific thing. As a mother I may make the goal of eating more fruits and vegetables. A more specific goal would be something like, serve two options of fruits and vegetables for dinner at least twice a week.
You may want to set a specific amount of time that you want to be active each day, an amount of water you’d like to drink each day, or replacing a habit of eating chips with your sandwich to eating a fruit.
3. Small steps count
Find ways to encourage each other and make each step count. It is better to create a few goals each week that you stick with for several weeks than setting up numerous goals and only sticking with them for one week. Discussing pitfalls and ways you can encourage each other ahead of time is a good tactic to take and remembering to lift each other up in their efforts rather than looking at the negative.
4. Work as a team
One way that our family loves to be active together is by playing Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii. Our kids are still small and it is something we can all do together. We have so much fun doing it and we really break a sweat! Growing up my family water-skied and snowboarded together. We also love to go for hikes, ride our bikes, or play basketball. Decide what activities work well for you and have fun. It may be that you’ll pick a different activity to try to appease a different family member each week and that is great way to include your children’s ideas for ways to stay healthy.
During the summer we require that our kids have practice time outside for at least 20 minutes. This could be riding a scooter, playing basketball, jump roping or anything else. Best part is kids forget about the timer and spend a lot more time outside. Just like us it can take a little motivation to get outside and once they do they are ready for more!
Have each family member sign their own goal chart, agree on the length of time for the specific goals, and put it somewhere for all to see.
5. Write it down where everyone can see it
They say a goal is only a wish until it is written down. Use this printable or one of your own to create weekly goals and then put it on your refrigerator or somewhere that you know you will see it often. A daily visual reminder is necessary when trying to make a change in your daily habits. This also gives you a great opportunity to help encourage each other through the week and set goals for the following week.
Create Healthy Choices with these three questions:
*My healthy food choice
This is so each family member can decide what it is that they want to work on that week. For my oldest he is apprehensive to try new foods and I am hoping that by setting a goal in this area a week at a time it will help him to overcome that fear. My daughter loves broccoli and most fruits but wants to make a goal of finding a new vegetable she likes. With this printable you can make the goal the same week after week or change it up depending on how the goal is going.
If you’re looking to make healthy choices more fun for your kids it is helpful to have them experience the foods and help you cook! One of our favorites is the FRUIT train! Such a fun way to play and eat healthy.
*I will get exercise this week by:
Simply a space for them to think of ways to stay active on their terms. Jackson runs the track every day at school and has a punch card that he works on filling out all year long. He loves this activity so he included it on his goal sheet. Looking for more? Here are 10 tips to help your kids get more exercise.
*Family activity this week:
This gives you the opportunity as a family to plan something fun and active to do together! We love spending time outdoors and if the weather is bad we will pull out the Nintendo Switch and have some active fun, go swimming indoors, or go sledding. Ask your kids what they prefer and make it part of the play!
This is an 8×10 size if you would like more room to write. Download HERE.
If you would like to print more to a page you can do this one that is 4x to a page. Click HERE for free download.
What ways do you like to keep your family healthy and happy? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!