Today is Day 2 of using New Year's resolutions to strengthen my family, while ensuring personal success.

Yesterday, I discovered many ways that I could teach my kids to stay active and get exercise, while I started down the road of achieving Resolution 1: Get in Shape.

On to Resolution 2: Eat Healthier.

These are ideas that I plan on using to achieve this goal.

- Research and make low-sugar and low-fat desserts with my youngest who inherited my sweet tooth.

- Research and make low-calorie and low-fat meals with my son who loves to cook.

- Research and make healthy soup and salad combinations with my eldest who is almost always in favor of lighter fare.

When she's not, we can find options for reduced-calorie meat and potatoes recipes.

- Alternate cooking dinner with each kid throughout the week.

If we use the cooking one-day-per-week approach, then the kids all get to help in shifts on that one day.

This will familiarize them with fresh ingredients and teach them proper preparation of food to maximize the retention of nutrients.

- Make a weekly menu of healthy dishes that includes breakfast and dinner for each weekday, as well as 3 meals on Saturday and 3 on Sunday.

I do let my children buy lunch at school, as this allows them opportunities to make wise eating decisions.

"Go" and "Whoa" food discussions will be addressed later in this post.

- Take the kids grocery shopping for the ingredients required to execute the week's healthy meal plan.

This also presents the opportunity to teach them about how to read food labels.

- Implement and follow the 3 Sweet Treats Rule: 3 treats on Friday, 3 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday before 5pm.

This teaches kids how to monitor their sugar intake and make choices about what they truly want to eat.

3 bite-sized candy bars count as 3 treats.

1 bowl of ice cream and syrup also counts as 3 treats.

- Limit the intake of my sweets to a predetermined amount.

I have found that if I cut out sugar entirely, I crave it more.

So, I prefer to fill a small ramekin with Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate morsels and eat them in one setting.

I don't snack on them for a long period and I don't go back for seconds.

I am careful to be a good example for my children by showing restraint and moderation.

- Look up the nutritional value for food items on the menu of the restaurant we are headed to or at the very least, before we order.

- Drink water throughout the day, which discourages snacking, while flushing the system of toxins and excess nutrients.

- Limit consumption of sugary, carbonated drinks, as they have been proven to make cravings for sweets even stronger.

- Brush our teeth after each meal and when we get a craving between meals.

There's nothing like the taste of toothpaste to ruin a snack.

- Set a firm rule: NO eating in front of the television or computer, while playing with an iPad or listening to an iPod.

We must be aware of every bite that we put into our mouths.

- Try to limit sweets in the house to those that require quite a bit of effort to make.

For example, have a box of cake mix or brownie mix, better yet, only the ingredients to make cookies - no pre-made cookie dough.

- Allow sugary foods to expire or get frost bite.

Teach the kids that just because it is there, does not mean that it has to be consumed.

When operating on a budget, we will quickly figure out what a waste it is to buy these items in the first place.

- Stay busy and out of the kitchen.

Eating due to boredom is a bad habit that I have to break.

- Have a list taped to the inside of the pantry door or on the refrigerator of things we can do other than snack.

- Wear a stylish, eye-catching ring or bracelet that serves as a reminder, like tying a bow around your finger, to wait until the next meal.

While I may think I am hungry, it is only because I am in the process of retraining my body to each healthy portions or that I am really dehydrated, instead.

- Never eat past 6pm.

Yes, the kids have endless extracurricular activities, but we always manage to get a quick, pre-made dinner in on a daily basis.

- Even though the 3 Sweet Treats Rule is in effect, keep fresh fruit available and visible, so that hopefully we will work our way to natural foods, instead of processed ones.

Nothing makes me happier than asking my youngest if she wants me to make brownies and she asks if we have grapes, instead.

- Switch over to whole grain products.

Yes, this was quite upsetting to me originally, since I loved my white bread; however, in no time at all, I was over my snit and the kids were, too.

I think it goes back to that law of trying something 7 times before you like it.

- Fully understand the implications of eating poorly...for myself, but more importantly for my children.

Share my findings with them, but temper the message to be age-appropriate.

- Immediately begin consuming smaller portions.

Work our way down slowly, so that our stomach sizes decrease as the portion sizes decrease.

- NEVER have seconds.

My kids have a fabulous saying, "You get what you get and don't throw a fit."

I love it!

- Eat a little of everything on our plates.

If we are truly not hungry, then it is fine to stop eating and wait for the next meal.

We do this with the understanding that there won't be any snacking between meals, though.

- The kids do not have the option to not eat what is served, unless they are really not hungry.

My youngest was particularly picky and quite vocal about her dislikes.

I found that by dividing the food that she didn't like into half, then letting her choose what half she was going to eat gave her the feeling of being in control.

- Treat meals as a must-have, not an event to be celebrated.

Get in, get out.

We need food to live, not live to eat food.

- If we stop by fast food, we only get the entree, not the sides.

For example, on Wednesdays, I like to get a Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

I only get the sandwich and a Diet Coke.

I don't get the fries or add extras to the sandwich, such as bacon, cheese or mustard.

The kids sometimes get their Grilled Chicken Nuggets, which surprisingly, they love!

- Understand that taking the kids to fast food restaurants is not a treat, it's a trap.

By doing this, I am teaching my kids that a good time on a playground, a toy in your bag, and fattening food, is the ideal meal.

Going to a playground, after eating a home-cooked meal is the better option.

Again, eating is not an event, it's a requirement to live.

- Discuss our school district's menu and designated "Go" and "Whoa" foods with the kids.

"Go" foods are healthy, low-calorie options that are given each day through the lunch line.

"Whoa" foods are the higher-calorie, less nutritious alternatives that are also available.

I can generally even monitor what the kids choose through our on-line food service account.

Also, I block all "extras" from being available for purchase.

- Holidays:

Once we bake sweet treats, we eat a few and give the rest away.

* Valentine's Day - minimize sweets for the kids and give them collectibles, instead. Matchbox cars and Pet Shop pets are a good alternative.

* Easter - fill eggs with stickers, coins, small collectibles and the like.

* Halloween - let the kids sort through their candy, dividing it in two of candy they like and the other of candy they will get rid of. The half they are getting rid of goes into a grocery store bag for the troops. Then they half the pile again, keeping their most favorite items and giving the other half to the troops. I don't let the kids trade candy because the natural distribution of candy types that they have received makes it easy for them to sort through and make their final selections. Also, their candy is stored in a large Ziploc baggie with their name written on it in permanent marker.

- Adopt the motto (for me only): "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!" (Thanks, Aline, I'll never forget this.)

Of course no one is trying to get skinny - skinny girls just look miserable.

However, the truth in this statement is that whatever bliss I'm about to put in my mouth is so incredibly short-lived, but the changes it makes to my mind (will-power) and body are long-lasting.

As I wrote this post, I realized just how many different ways there are to eat healthy.

Most of them are habits that need to be adopted and mind-sets that need to be changed.

I am game, if not for myself, then for the health of my family.

I don't want them to ever be on yo-yo diets or fight obesity.

I'd rather implement the hard stuff now, so that they can make wise choices in the future.

Stay tuned for Resolution 3: Save Money.

Here's to another Inspired Minute!

Author's Bio: 

Hi there! My name is Tracey and I’m on a mission to turn average days at home into meaningful minutes. I’m a wife, mother of 3 and an Inspired Life Blogger. This is my journey to create ways to save time, maximize money, creatively organize, craft, gift, and decorate and humbly volunteer. Please visit my blog at for ideas and tips that I hope will inspire you!