By Sadé Meeks, MS, RD

Food Goals

Food Goals

New Year, new goals, right? It’s that time of the year again where many of us grab our pen and papers and set goals for the new year. Setting goals for the New Year may sound cliché, but it’s actually proven to set the tone for the year. A well-known Harvard Study found 14% of people who had goals were 10 times more successful than those without goals. Furthermore, out of that 14%, the 3% with written goals were three times more successful. This is just one example of how powerful goal setting can be. But setting goals shouldn’t just be relegated to the adults. It’s also an important practice for children to adopt as well.

Teaching your child goal setting can empower them, increases their confidence, and give them more autonomy.  So, where should parents and caregivers start?

Here are few more tips for helping your little one with goal setting. (adapted from

  • Get the Idea Across: Start the process by looking for ways that your child already uses goal-setting techniques.
  • Start Small: Help your child think of a fun goal they could achieve within a short time.
  • Let Them Choose: it’s best to let your kid decide what they want to achieve.
  • Show Them How: include your child in your own goal-setting to show them how the process works.
  • Applaud Effort: As your child begins to set goals and work toward them, don’t forget the compliments

In general, these tips work perfectly in goal setting. However, setting goals doesn’t always have to look like a long drawn out plan. When it comes to feeding, aim to make goals as relaxed as possible.  Say you want to expose your child to more foods in 2020; this goal can simply start with a conversation. For instance, you could start by asking your child, “What new foods would you like to try this year”? Here are a few more goal conversation starters:

  • What types of foods would you like to help cook this year?
  • What types of vegetables would you like to eat more of?
  • Would you like to grow some herbs in the kitchen?

A conversation creates a more relaxed approach to goal setting, which is important when the aim is to cultivate a relaxed food environment. As with any goal, it will take time. Go on the journey with your little one as they begin to explore new foods, varieties, and techniques.

Want to help your child increase their whole grain intake? Consider adding Messy Monkeys to their snack time. Messy Monkeys contain 50% whole grains.