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    New Year's Resolutions

    Yes, it’s time for the age-old tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions (and, if you are like me, giving up those lofty goals by February or so). This year, my 2010 New Year’s Resolution is to NOT give up on my New Year’s Resolution. Maybe we can keep each other motivated to persevere!

    In case you need some inspiration, here are some of my suggestions for healthy resolutions.

    #1. Limit screen time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids over two years of age should have no more than 1-2 hours a day in front of all screens (TV, DVD’s, computers, gaming devices, iPhones, etc)

    #2. Clean out your pantry. Get rid of the 4 C’s…Cookies, Candy, Chips, and Cola. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have these goodies every once in a while. But if these items are in your pantry, they are a staple-not a treat. If your family has to go out to consume these things, everyone will eat less of them.

    #3. Pack a lunch. Not only will it save you money, but you and your kids will almost certainly eat better. It takes a few extra minutes and some planning ahead, but it’s time well spent.

    #4. Exercise regularly- that goes for every family member. It’s got to start with you, Mom and Dad. Your kids watch you, so be a good role model! Get the kids off the couch and get them moving. Maybe your child doesn’t enjoy any particular sport or can’t just go outside and play because the weather or your neighborhood isn’t ideal. Get creative! Turn on the radio and have a dance contest. Have a race to see how many stairs you can climb. Or, find a program in your community if your family needs help staying motivated. There’s a great program that started in my hometown called Marathon Kids that challenges kids to run 26.2 miles over six months.

    Set realistic goals and you’ll be more likely to succeed.

    Good luck and have a happy and healthy 2010!

    - Ari Brown, MD, FAAP

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