Eating healthy during the holidays can be difficult for everyone, kids included. Candy, cookies, and desserts are only a few of the temptations that kids may not be able to resist when it comes to holiday meals. However, there is good news; it is possible to maintain your kid’s health during the holidays without forcing them to sacrifice the sweets that are seasonal traditions. Here are just a few tips to help keep kids on track with eating healthy.
Don’t Completely Forbid Treats
You don’t have to stop the kids from eating sweets over the holidays, but it is important to limit the amount that they do eat. For example, instead of putting the decorative cookies and candies out on the counters, store them in a cupboard and only allow one treat per day. A good trick to substitute candies and cookies for more healthy treats is to make sure you have a variety of colorful fruits available at all times.
Set a Good Example
Your kids will mimic your behaviors, especially when it comes to eating unhealthy. If you are eating a cookie or piece of candy from each batch you prepare, your kids will think that it’s okay for them to sneak these treats as well. To set a good example, when it’s snack time, sit down with the kids and eat a piece of fruit and talk about your day together. When it is time for a sweet snack for the kids, this should be the time for you to have your sweets as well.
Stick to Regular Meal Schedules
It is important that you keep your regular meal schedules as close to the usual time as possible. Delaying meals makes it easy to grab something quick to hold you and the kids over until mealtime. If meals will be delayed, have small, healthy food items available that will keep them satisfied until it’s time to eat dinner. Some healthy “fillers” could include items such as peanut butter crackers, granola bars or fruit cups.
Keep Them Hydrated
Staying hydrated will help to prevent sugar cravings and may also help to prevent overeating. If the kids are asking for sweet treats, offer them a bottle of flavored water instead. The water will help to fill them up, and the fruit will curb the sugar cravings.
If you are traveling this holiday season, it’s important to pack healthy snacks to bring with you. Whether you are flying or driving, bringing easy to prepare snacks will help reduce the risk of grabbing something that is unhealthy. Some snacks that pack well and will last for several hours may include celery stalks with peanut butter, granola bars, dried fruit, and nuts. It is also important that you have plenty of bottled water available to prevent the risk of grabbing a can of soda along the way. There will be sweets eaten during the holidays, so don’t forget to schedule an appointment with the dentist to ensure the kids are up to date on fluoride treatments and cleanings.
Contact us at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule your pre-holiday cleanings and exams.