One of the biggest challenges people face during the holidays is eating healthy while still having fun and enjoying yourself, and this doesn't just apply to adults. Kids especially have a hard time this time of year staying on track with eating good, healthy foods. If you are worried about the types of food your children will be consuming during winter break, check out these tips on how to keep your kids eating right while still enjoying their break from school.
Provide Healthy Snacks
Hummus and carrots, whole grain crackers and cheese, apples and peanut butter, and bananas and almonds are all great ways to get your kids full and happy before they go to a holiday party or meal, and it ensures they've eaten something nutritional before diving into heavy, unhealthy foods. These are also easy snacks to make quickly, so there is plenty of time to satisfy their hunger without having to get a quick, unhealthy snack.
Limit the Amount of Treats They Eat
Keeping your kids on a strict meal plan sounds ideal and easy, but it isn't. So, what you do is limit the amount of treats they do have. Schedule breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert in that order, making the first two snacks delicious and healthy, while letting them dive into a portioned out treat at the end of the night.
Bring a Dish From Home
If you're going to a friend or relative's house for dinner, offer to bring something along so that you know you will have at least one healthy side item your kids will and can eat. Sometimes planning ahead is the best way to keep kids eating healthy all year long. This also applies to when you’re on the go. You want to keep healthy snacks handy so you aren't hitting the drive-thru for French Fries when your kids start complaining about hunger pangs- and so you don't do the same!
Teach Them about Healthy Foods and how to Say “No”
When you're full, don't eat anymore! Kids have a hard time with this, though, so sit down with them and tell them how they can know they are full, what can happen if they continue to eat after they are full, and that it's alright to say “no” to too much food. Especially tell them the issues of eating too many sweets. It can make their stomach's hurt and make them sick. Once kids realize what this type of food can do to them in excess, they will be more likely to avoid it, especially if you are consistent in reminding them.
Lead By Example
This isn't fun, but it's true. If you want your kids to eat healthy, and not just on winter break, you, too, need to eat healthy so they can have a role model to follow. Practice what you preach for the most effective results.