We’ve entered into full-force holiday season and treats are everywhere. As a parent, you want to make sure your child is achieving optimum nutrition and wellness at all times. Here are our tips for eating healthy during the holidays:
Keep the same routine
A lot of times during the holidays, routines are messed up due to busy schedules and traveling. It’s important to try to keep the same routine as much as possible. The best way to be healthy is to have three meals a day with limited snacking in between.
Unfortunately, the holidays often mess with this plan. The best way to combat this is to try to stick to your three meals around the same time This can easily be done by taking measures like packing a picnic dinner if you are on the way to Grandma’s house rather than stopping by a fast food restaurant on the way there. This will allow your kids to have healthy digestive regulation during the holidays so that when they do indulge in the occasional treat, it will be balanced out by three regular meals.
Incorporate healthy eating into themed holiday meals
A simple and fun way to encourage healthy eating is to incorporate it into themed holiday meals. For example, serve your children carrot sticks with almonds placed on top and tell them that they’re “fingernails” for a fun Halloween treat. Or purchase some healthy green fruit juice (I personally love Naked brand Green Machine) and tell your kids it’s “witch’s brew.” Your children will not only have fond memories down the road but will also feel healthier throughout the holiday season.
Make healthy substitutions
No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to be able to fend off all unhealthy treats and snacks for your kids. It’s likely that your child will be slipped a candy bar at a Halloween party without you knowing or will take a cookie from Grandma’s cookie jar at Thanksgiving. What you can control, however, is what you feed your kids when they’re home.
Try making healthy substitutions such as substituting brown rice for white rice or applesauce for oil when you’re baking. These small substitutions might not make a huge difference, but they will help reduce the amount of fats and sugars your child is getting on your watch.
Create a treat drawer in your house
Another good way to keep your kids eating healthily during the holidays is to teach the lesson that moderation is key. One way you can do this is to create a “treat” drawer in your house and encourage your kids to bring the goodies and sweets they receive at school or holiday parties home.
After they eat dinner, you can allow your kids to each choose three small sweets, two medium sweets or one big sweet. This will keep kids from overeating and will enforce that treats are fine in moderation. Hopefully, this is a lesson that will carry on year-round and you will be able to manage how your children eat for next year.
About the Author: Katie Elizabeth is a freelancer writer and family woman, interested in writing about anything from crafts and kids’ activities to ballistic nylon laptop bags.
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