Encouraging Children to Make Healthy Eating Choices This Christmas

Encouraging Children to Make Healthy Eating Choices This Christmas

The silly season is upon us and for many families, this means food glorious food… and lots of it! While it is a beautiful thing to be able to celebrate special occasions and quality time with family and friends through sharing in the joys of food, it can become very easy to overindulge during the holidays.
We’re sure most parents have experienced the effects too many highly processed, sugary treats have on their children – hyperactivity, temper tantrums or energy crashes sound familiar?!

The good news is it is still possible to maintain your children’s health during the holidays while still having heaps of fun and without sacrificing foodie traditions. Here’s some ideas you can implement to maintain a healthy balanced approach and ensure you're still filling your children with goodness, while they enjoy some Christmas pudding and chocolate advent on the side too!

1. Make fruit available, attractive and fun
It’s amazing how many children will choose fruit if it’s in front of them and looks bright, colourful and appetising. There are so many varieties of beautiful, juicy and tasty fruit available during the summer holiday season in Australia that’s much more appealing than chocolate when it’s hot! Try making ice lollies or natural ice cream using mangos, watermelon, coconut, bananas, citrus fruits or berries – children will love to snack on them! Here’s a simple recipe to try: https://www.superhealthykids.com/strawberry-watermelon-ice-pops/

2. Keep the Christmas theme alive with healthy food
There is so much inspiration online for making festive themed plates that make healthy food fun! When it looks this good, it will be easy to encourage children to make healthier choices. Take a look at this article for some ideas: https://www.cleanandscentsible.com/healthy-christmas-food-ideas/

3. Set the example
It’s no good telling children to eat their greens while you’re sat eating a box of mince pies! Children will follow your lead, so making healthier choices yourself and having an “everything in moderation” approach will encourage them to as well.

4. Limit what you have in the cupboards
Ever heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind”? If treat food is easily accessible, you are more likely to reach for it. When you do the shopping, you don’t need to buy all the Christmassy treats at once! Spread them out over the holidays, perhaps just having one item in the house at a time. And try not to let the children know where you keep them!

5. Maintain routine and rituals where possible
Routine helps to create habits. If you already have a good routine established around food, try to maintain your everyday rituals throughout the holiday period so that children still know what to expect. They are less likely to make unhealthy choices that are driven by opportunity and their emotions if they have a sense of normality. Once children pick up bad habits or their routine is lost, it is much harder to re-learn it again, trust us!

Wishing all our families a very happy and healthy Christmas holiday! If you need some extra support during the Christmas period, our educators are here to help. Find a Lifelong Learning Centre Near You.

Have you seen our gluten free gingerbread men recipe? Click here!
Posted: 12/8/2017 3:37:51 PM by