Joey from Made by Joey is with us today to share some great tips for keeping our children balanced and healthy during the holidays.
The holidays can be a challenging time for children (and adults!) to eat healthy foods so here are few ideas that may help.
1. Never leave the house hungry.
Before leaving for a day of shopping or attending a party whip up a smoothie full of veggies and fruit to fill up your family’s tummies! They will be less tempted by convenience food or to overeat at the party table.
2. Bring healthy options with you.
Pack some reusable containers or zip bags with small portions of snacks to keep in your car or bag. Some ideas include: raw almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, homemade popcorn, unsweetened coconut, apple juice sweetened cranberries, organic dried apricots, prunes, figs, apple rings or nut bars. Watch out for added sugars and try and stay away from things like crackers, pretzels or chips. Drink boxes of unsweetened fruit and veggie juice are a good idea as well if they have finished their water bottle.
3. Portion control.
Teach your child about portions (it makes for a great lesson in math too!) by reading the nutritional information on the package and measuring out what the company suggests an actual serving is. You will be surprised how often we eat two or three servings in a sitting! Another idea is to use small dishes for special treats like the child sized cup of hot cocoa in the photo.
4. Pile their plate with goodness!
When faced with a buffet full of foods begin by looking for the foods that will fill your child up with goodness like green salad, raw veggies, hard boiled eggs, low fat meats, cheese, hummus, seed crackers, nuts and fresh fruit for dessert.
5. Keep your home stocked with healthy snacks.
I wrote this post on my blog about how I keep healthy snacks convenient so that they are the quickest and easiest food for the kids to snack on. Honestly, it takes less time to prepare than a batch of cookies!
6. Keep them hydrated!
One of the most important things to remember this holiday is to increase your child’s water intake. Children often forget to drink and can quickly become dehydrated. Water flushes the body of toxins that can build up in our bodies from a variety of sources so keep their refillable water bottle with you at all times! Sparkling water with lemon or herbal teas are good choices and don’t forget to pull out the fun Christmas cups!
7. Teach them by example.
This is the hard one parents! There are little eyes watching you at all times so show them how the big kids do it!
8. Relax and enjoy!
Try not to stress too much about watching what your children eat. The holidays will always be a time for them to indulge on foods that they only have once a year. By eating plenty of healthy meals throughout the holidays you will ensure that their little bodies are in balance and more able to tolerate a few sweets.
I would like to wish all of the Playful Learning readers a very happy and healthy Holiday Season!