Melissa Joy Dobbins MS, RD, CDE
‘Tis the season for reflecting and making those New Year’s resolutions. As a dietitian and a mom, I’m keeping my entire family in mind as I consider realistic and effective ways to improve our health in the New Year. Read my family’s resolution’s below.
Make exercise a family affair. We already have some family-oriented activities that we enjoy. A family bike ride is my all-time favorite, though my husband and I just completed our first triathlon together and recently started taking ballroom dance lessons- which are really enjoyable! This year, we want to do more. I am looking forward to taking a karate class with my son and a weekly dance class with my daughter.
Balance our diets better. We will continue to strive for more balance in our diets by emphasizing nutrient-rich foods and moderating less nutritious choices. I’m all about “guilt-free” strategies to include all the foods we love, so there are no hard and fast rules for sweets and treats at our house. Instead, we consider the entire day, and even the entire week, when making decisions about what kinds of foods and beverages to choose, and how much. Because of our emphasis on including nutrient-rich foods at meals and snacks, I feel good about letting my kids learn to make their own choices about the “extra” foods and beverages they consume.
Be sensible about our screen time. We are very aware of the amount of time we spend in front of the TV, computer, tablet, video games and smartphones. In addition to spending quality time together, we will focus on quality screen time together. For example, we love watching movies together. It provides us with lots to learn and laugh about. We ensure that some of the video games we play have some puzzles or brain training games and that we get our bodies moving with dance video games.
I’m confident that we have a good foundation upon which to build healthier habits, and glad that we have the right to choose what is best for our family. I wish you and yours a healthier new year by choosing what is best is for you!