How to Achieve Your Health Goals This New Year

by Celina Paras, MSc, RDN, LD
Nutrition Education Specialist, CHEF, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
and Andi Champion
Program Coordinator, CHEF

Love them or hate them, New Year’s Resolutions always tend to make us reflect on the year we’ve had and the things we’d like to do a little differently in the future. One of the most common resolutions for many people is to get healthier. While some people tend to go after this goal too aggressively, with overly restrictive diets that are impossible to maintain or intense workout regimens, it’s important to remember that the best New Year’s Resolutions are goals that are realistic and attainable. By making small, incremental changes in your daily habits, you are more likely to stick with your goals and to think of them as more of a lifestyle change than a quick fix.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips to help your family reach their health goals this new year. These simple steps can help you reset your habits and make positive changes that can last you a lifetime.

  1. Organize and stock a healthy pantry. Stock your pantry with foods like dry whole grains, nuts/nut butters, seeds, canned low-sodium beans, healthy oils, and dried herbs & spices. This way, you can quickly throw a nutritious and delicious meal together.
  2. Go with nature. Choose wholesome, natural foods that are in season, whenever possible. Limit foods with added sugars and avoid highly-processed foods. Choose foods closest to their natural state as these are usually more nutrient dense.
  3. Discover a world of flavor. Develop flavor with ingredients like fresh herbs, spices, vinegars, and citrus fruits. Explore new flavors and turn everyday foods into a culinary adventure with different ingredients from all over the world.
  4. Get the whole family in the kitchen. From washing, to cutting, to setting the table, there’s something for everyone in the family to do! Children of all ages can have fun learning simple cooking skills like washing fruits and vegetables, cracking eggs, and measuring dry ingredients.
  5. Cook more at home. Remember that cooking is like a sport—the more you practice, the better you get at it! Making a delicious and wholesome meal doesn’t have to be complicated. Get confident with a few cooking techniques and use them often.
  6. Dine at the table. Sit at the table and enjoy meals with family or friends. Take time in between bites and really savor your meal.
  7. Get moving! Play more outside, dance more, take an easy stroll around the neighborhood or get the whole family out on a bike ride at one of San Antonio’s beautiful trails.
  8. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Liven up water with natural infusions of fruits, herbs, and veggies. Try  our refreshing cucumber mint recipe (link to recipe).
  9. Get plenty of sleep. Sleeping is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. A good night’s sleep leads to improved quality of life and physical health.
  10. Smile and give gratitude. Remember to appreciate the good and simple things in life!

Looking for more healthy cooking inspiration? Check out a CHEF class! Our schedule can be found here.