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Setting Healthy Goals for the Entire Family

Anne Kolker • MS, Registered Dietitian • Nov 03, 2011

If you’ve been thinking about healthy goals and resolutions, this is a great time to think about setting healthy goals for the entire family. Setting family goals means helping your child set healthy goals too.

Goals need to be realistic and measurable.  Goals mean that we are going to be changing habits that you and your family have grown accustomed to.  So you don't want to tackle to many changes at once.  It is best to start with one or two goals.

Remember that little steps of change do add up!


Setting Healthy Nutrition And Physical Activity Goals

set healthy goals with kids
Often, we set very broad goals or too many goals. After not being able to keep them up we give up thinking this is too hard. Changing your child’s healthy eating and physical activity habits can be challenging. Set your family for success with these simple guidelines for setting new goals.
  • Have everyone share their ideas
  • Write each idea down
  • Discuss the ideas and decide on one or two family goals
  • Be very specific
  • Keep it simple (if this is an new habit, just select one day vs. seven days)
  • Start small. Don’t make big changes all at once.
  • Have each family member set one individual goal
  • Agree as a family on your time period. For example, you will work on this goal for 4 weeks.
  • Use a fun kid friendly agreement and have each family member sign it
  • Post the family agreement up in a visible place as a quick reminder
  • Post the individual agreement in the child’s room or on their door.
  • Print and post a matching healthy goals tracking sheet on the refrigerator to mark your child's progress.


Here is an example of a specific healthy family goal:

Too general nutrition goal: Eat more fruit and less processed snacks

Specific goal nutrition goal: Serve fresh fruit salad for dinner on Monday and Tuesday nights for dinner for the next 2 months.


Too general fitness goal: Increase our physical fitness
Specific physical activity goal: A family hike every Saturday for 45 minutes this month
Setting goals can be a rewarding and bonding experience for the whole family. Work together as a family to change healthy habits. 








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Written by Anne KolkerWritten on Nov 03, 2011Last updated on Dec 18, 2014




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