The holidays are the best time of year when it comes to good things to eat! There are so many delicious options to choose from wherever you turn, and this is especially true for kids who are surrounded by delicious treats at home and at school as the holidays are near. With all these goodies around, how can parents make sure their kiddos aren’t overdoing it on sugary treats or other unhealthy foods? Here are a few tips on helping kids eat healthy this holiday season.
Make healthy snack choices available
If a child’s only snack option is chocolate, then that’s what they’ll eat (wouldn’t we all?!). However, if parents pack healthy, filling snacks in their kid’s lunches, chances are they’ll feel full and satisfied and will probably grab one cookie instead of several. Make sure there are healthy fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks around the house too, especially during those holiday meals. Kids can still enjoy the sweets, but it won’t be to excessive if there are healthy, filling snacks around too.
Sneak some goodness into those desserts and family favorites
The holidays are a special time of year, and kids love all the treats that the holidays bring. If your child is a bit pickier and won’t willingly grab a piece of fruit before a sweet treat, why not make fruit a part of the sweet treat? There are lots of wonderful, delicious dessert options where parents can sneak in some fruit to make it a bit healthier. Cookies, puddings, cakes…. all of these can incorporate healthy fruit with a little creativity. You can also top desserts with fruit to sneak in a few healthy bites, or make fruit the main part of the dessert with a dollop of whipped cream! Most kids crave sweets and aren’t too picky about how they get them. For those calorie-laden family recipes, get creative this year and try to create healthier versions of holiday favorites. Look for ways to use Greek yogurt instead of whole milk in mashed potatoes, or substitute low-fat milk options instead of cream in those creamy dishes. There are lots of tips online about substituting healthier items for unhealthy ones, like using EVOO instead of butter. Get creative in the kitchen!
Offer kids a variety of options for school lunches
Kids are no different than adults when it comes to eating out of boredom. If you’re pinched for time and find yourself packing the same lunch day in and day out for your kiddos, chances are they’re going to get creative to find some variety; that usually means trading away the healthy stuff for a sugary treat. The easiest way to provide healthy, delicious, and exciting lunches to your kids at school is by using a lunch delivery service like Dishes2u! Concerned that they still may not like what they get? One of the many benefits of Dishes2U is that you can choose your lunches online; getting your kids involved in picking their lunches lessens the chance of them trading them away for more unhealthy options. And since we deliver school lunches from popular local restaurants, they’ll be able to choose the menu items they know and love!
All of us veer a bit off the healthy eating path during the holiday season; we all deserve a treat this time of year! However, helping kids eat healthily this holiday season will teach them good eating habits for the upcoming year. These few easy ideas should help make the holiday season a bit brighter and healthy for your kids!