The new year is here, full of promise. Here are three evidence-based ideas for New Year’s resolutions that can help you and your family eat more fruits and vegetables in the new decade:
Create a habit
If you can manage to create a habit, your desired behavior will become automatic – and so much easier to do. Habits aren’t easy to create, but there is a formula that works if you can put in the early effort to keep on track: pick a simple behavior, pick a time and place to do it, repeat the behavior at that time and place, and enjoy a little reward when you do it.
Resolution: “I will create a fruit and vegetable habit so that consumption becomes effortless”.
Eat fruits and vegetables first
This is a great way to make fruit and vegetable consumption easier for your family and it may not require revolutionizing your meal preparation. It can be as simple as putting some cut fruits and vegetables out while dinner is cooking or while take-out is coming.
Resolution: “In the new year, we’ll start our meals with fruits and veggies.”.
This one will take some effort, but the new year is a great opportunity to start long term investments. The evidence is strong: systematic exposure increases liking over time. It’s all about repeatedly trying to eat fruits and vegetables. Exposure works if you keep the experience positive by giving praise for trying and if you remain realistic: change won’t happen overnight, and the goal isn’t to create a connoisseur – just a kid who at least tolerates fruits and vegetables.
Resolution: “I will encourage my kids to try a non-favorite fruit or vegetable every day”.
You can read more about these and other tips at our Create Better Resolutions series. Happy New Year!