How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy on the Holidays?

How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy on the Holidays?

Oh, the holidays…!  A wonderful time filled with family, presents, and lots and lots of food.  Is it even possible to keep kids eating healthy when they’re surrounded by constant Christmas treats?

The first thing to consider is what you have control over.  If your child is in school or going to friends’ houses you have less control, so the best thing you can do is to educate them.  Sit down and talk to them about the holidays and the challenges they might face with unhealthy food being constantly on offer.  Ask them how they feel about it and make sure they understand how those foods affect them.  You can discuss things such as examples of how those foods make them feel or how those foods cause them to behave.

The next strategy is simply to compromise.  It’s important to make sure your kids are eating healthy food, but you also do not want them to be unhappy or resentful.  The goal is to inspire your kids to want to eat healthy food.  If you talk to them and rejecting all those sweets at school and at parties is something they really cannot or do not want to do, try your best to come to a compromise both of you can handle, such as only having one small piece of cake or one small piece of candy each day.  Most kids during the holiday season are stuffing their faces with special treats, so finding a limit you both can live with is really the best way to go about it.  Of course, the obvious goal is to have a child who doesn’t want to eat these foods, but let’s be realistic!

You can also find alternative treats.  For instance, I make my own ice cream and sorbet at home.  I can make a fantastic frozen yogurt with no added sugar and my kids will be happy and won’t ask me for other ice cream.  I also make healthy oatmeal cookies and banana cake.  By making (or buying) healthy alternatives to the usual sweets, your kids can enjoy something special on the holidays while you don’t have to worry.

Finally, pay attention to what you’re eating.  Are you wolfing down chocolates when you think nobody is looking? Do you have sweets and cakes in the kitchen or around the house “for guests”?  If so, your kids will notice and want some, too.  But if you just do not have unhealthy stuff in your house and your kids don’t see you or your partner eating them, they are less likely to want them.  Remember, you are your child’s biggest role model.

I wish you all happy holidays and healthy, inspired kids!