Tips for working towards a healthy lifestyle
Focusing on healthy living doesn't mean you have to change all of your family's daily habits at once.
Making one new change at a time will help you reach your long term goals. Even one small healthy change should be viewed as a success!
1. Think small and simple steps
Making changes is more likely to be successful when it is done in small steps and when your child is involved in the process.
See our quick tip ideas for making small changes today:
2. Think about times when you've been successful
Think about what works now and what has worked in the past. When have you been able to help your child try a new food? Or help them get to sleep by their bedtime?
What was different about that time? What were they doing? Who was involved? How did it happen?
3. Pick your battles
Promoting healthy living should be a positive experience for everyone. It makes sense to decide what behaviours are worth encouraging or discouraging, and what behaviours are worth leaving alone.
In his book The Explosive Child, psychologist Ross Greene recommends prioritizing behaviours into three symbolic baskets:
4. Build on strengths
When you notice your child doing something right, encourage them to do it more often. Find opportunities to highlight good behaviour or accomplishments. Watch and come to know when and where your child has the most energy or enthusiasm.
5. Make it a family affair
Hold a family meeting to talk about healthy living ideas. What is your family doing right now to promote healthy living? What else would you like to add to your healthy lifestyle?
Choose one of the healthy living areas that your family would like to work towards.
Talk with your child about what area they would like to focus on. Let them decide on their own goals, and make it fun!
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals
To help with setting goals, we have included an activity sheet (My Healthy Living Pinwheel) as a resource below.
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals can help your family achieve the changes you want to make. It is a process used to break down your goals into specific action plans.
Toolkit for Families: My Healthy Living Pinwheel
This resource can be used to help children and families develop healthy living SMART goals.
This app is designed for children aged 8-12 and their parents to build healthy habits. Kids can set a goal, then choose fun daily challenges to work towards a reward!