Healthy Holiday Habits For Families

Healthy holiday treats

The winter season is a time for celebrating with friends and family, indulging in tasty treats, and a few well earned days of relaxation. However, as the holidays approach and winter continues, your kids will have extended time off school, the days will be short, and more than likely they’ll be spending more time indoors. Additionally, families tend to eat heavier comfort food so staying healthy is difficult this time of year. Typically from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, the average weight gain is 3-10 pounds. While this may seem insignificant, it could result in future health problems and the development of bad habits. But don’t panic! If you’re looking for healthy holiday tips for kids there are plenty of ways to encourage your child to keep the treats to a minimum, keep activities high, and everyone’s stress low.

Healthy Holiday Treats

Treats featuring fruit, veggies, or high protein foods are a perfect alternative to snacks saturated with sugar or fat and are a great way to keep kids healthy during celebrations. Keep your holiday meals filled with plenty of vegetables to keep your calorie counts from getting too high.

In addition, keep an eye on portion size as holiday meals tend to encourage overindulgence. Make sure your children are eating appropriately sized meals, snacks, and treats.

Regular Meal Patterns

The holidays can be hectic for everyone, but keeping your kids’ meals as regular as possible is vital to preventing overeating and overindulging. Avoid eating less to indulge more in a holiday favorite, keep your meals regular so you can still enjoy some of your holiday favorites without eating too much.

You may also want to consider involving your children in the meal prepping process. Let them help in selecting healthy meal recipes and get them in the kitchen to learn how to prepare their own food. Teaching them about healthy eating habits at a young age will leave a lasting impact on their overall health and self-sufficiency.

Stay Active

This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym for two hours with your kids in tow — there are plenty of ways to keep the whole family active without involving free weights! Winter weather offers plenty of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy including:

– Ice skating
– Ice hockey
– Snowball fights
– Building snowmen
– Sledding
– Skiing/Snowboarding

Don’t let the cold weather keep your family cooped up in the house, get outside and make sure everyone gets to burn off some energy.

If the weather is not ideal for playing outside, get creative with some indoor activities. Avoid screen time as much as possible so your children still get plenty of exercise. Here are a few ideas:

– Cook holiday meals together
– Plan a scavenger hunt
– Play a board game
– Build a fort
– Play hide and seek
– Do chores together

Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep and taking time to relax is always important, but the stress and excitement of the holidays can take an extra toll on you and your family. Getting enough sleep will keep the whole family happy and healthy as you begin the new year.

However, make sure your kids aren’t sleeping in too much during winter break. Ensure they wake up around the same time each day so going back to school won’t be a huge shock to their system.

Enjoy Yourself!

This time of year is magical and festive for all, and it’s especially important to remember to treat yourself. Don’t let the stress of the holidays keep you from relaxing and celebrating with loved ones. Kick back and enjoy a hot mug of cider by the fire and watch your favorite holiday film or read your favorite book. It’s a magical time of year, after all!

Looking for a way to stay active this season while also giving back to your community? Check out our blog on holiday volunteer opportunities for families.

MythBusters: Fake News Regarding The Flu Shot

Woman giving child flu vaccine

 

As the holidays approach, so does a not-so-pleasant time of year — flu season. Whether you vaccinate your children or are considering vaccinating them for the first time, having the facts is imperative to your family’s health and safety. However, there are several skewed pieces of information out there regarding influenza and the vaccine which could prevent you from taking the proper precautions. So, what are common flu vaccine misconceptions?

A Flu Shot Causes The Flu

Flu shots do not cause the onset of flu symptoms. You may notice some side effects such as soreness, redness, or possible swelling at the injection spot. In rare cases, there may be instances of headaches, a low grade fever, or potential muscle aches.

When a flu vaccine is made, it is either conceived from an inactive flu virus that is no longer infectious, or without any flu viruses such as in the case of the recombinant vaccine. A vaccine does not contain active flu viruses that can cause the illness.

Getting the Flu Is Better For Your Immune System

Absolutely not! Influenza is a serious disease that can have serious complications and can even be fatal. This is particularly true amongst young children, senior citizens, or those with certain chronic health conditions.

Even amongst the healthiest of children and adults, the flu can mean hospitalization and even death. Vaccination is by far a safer choice than risking a dangerous illness to strengthen your immune system.

Pregnant Women Should Not Get Vaccinated

No way! Pregnant women or people with pre-existing conditions do not need to avoid vaccinations or require special consent from their doctor.

If you have any concerns about receiving vaccinations during pregnancy or for any other reason, consult with your primary care provider.

A Flu Vaccine Won’t Protect You From New Strains

Getting vaccinated helps your body fight off the strains included in the current vaccine, but it also helps your immune system fight off any other strains that may inevitably develop. This is also why the vaccine is updated every year, to keep your body up to date on the latest flu strains and keep your immune system strong. Additionally, the effectiveness of the vaccine declines after one year, and staying up to date is important.

Don’t fear flu season, and don’t fear the flu vaccine! The positives for vaccinating you and your family far outweigh any possible negatives, and protecting your loved ones from a potentially fatal disease in a time when it is the most prevalent is the safest choice to make.

For further information regarding flu vaccinations, contact the experts at Grow Pediatrics today!

5 Best Holiday Volunteer Opportunities in Minnesota for Families

Family volunteers at local soup kitchen

For many of us, the holidays are a busy time of year, especially when it comes to gift giving. As you check off presents on your shopping list, make time to volunteer with your family, and give a gift that impacts those around you. It’s a great way to teach your children about the spirit of giving, as well as encourage a more empathetic mindset. Here’s where to find holiday volunteer opportunities in Minnesota.

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5 Ways to Encourage Physical Activity This Winter With Your Kids

Little kids being pulled in a sled by father

While it’s easy for your kids to run outside during the summer, it’s much more difficult to keep up that level of activity during the colder months. Temperatures are dropping, which means it’s much more appealing to stay inside and curl up with a blanket. However, there are plenty of fun activities you can do indoors with your family (and a few outdoor ones too). Here are 5 techniques to encourage physical activity with your kids.

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5 Simple DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids for Under $25

October is coming to a close, which means Halloween is upon us. For some people, the scariest part of this spooky holiday is coming up with a good costume idea.

You want something fun and original, but you don’t want to break the bank doing it. You also shudder at the thought of buying a $50 costume for one night. This is why many people opt for a homemade costume.

The idea of a homemade costume can be daunting to many, but it doesn’t have to be a scary task. DIY costumes can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. Need some inspiration? Here are 5 simple homemade Halloween costume ideas for kids that you can pull off for under $25.

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10 Candy Alternatives for Halloween That Won’t Give Kids Cavities

Four trick-or-treaters leaving a house with non-candy options for HalloweenOctober is in full swing, which means we’re on a countdown to the spookiest night of the year. And while Halloween is still a few weeks away, people are already starting to prepare: Decorations are coming out, costumes are getting bought, and candy can be found in every store.

If you’re a homeowner, you’re probably expecting an influx of kids ringing your doorbell with their pillowcases opened up. Halloween is definitely fun, but it can be a little sickening to think about the amount of candy kids will be receiving. If you want to hand out something that won’t make a dentist shudder, you do have other options. Read on for 10 of the best non-candy alternatives for Halloween.

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Fighting Germs: Flu Prevention Tips for Parents and Kids

Sneezing child in need of flu prevention tips

 

Fall and winter mean pumpkin pie, trick or treating, Thanksgiving, and snow days! But although the colder weather promises lots of fun things, the inevitable flu monster is guaranteed to rear its ugly head. This doesn’t mean you need to keep your children in isolation for fear of getting sick, however. There are a variety of flu prevention tips for kids and parents that will help everyone get through another season of coughing and sneezing this year.

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Fall Family Craft Ideas That Everyone Will Love

With the crisp fall weather approaching, there are guaranteed to be some days with less than ideal weather. If you find yourself at home with the kiddos on a cold, rainy fall day, there are plenty of fun fall craft ideas that are easy to make and perfect as decorations around the house!

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Fun Fall Activities in Minnesota for the Whole Family!

Apples floating in water

The seasons are a’changing! While many people mourn the warmer summer days, plenty are wrapping up in their cozy scarves and hiking boots to start fall off right. From football games to apple picking, pumpkin patches and the beautiful fall colors, there are plenty of fall activities in Minnesota for the whole family to enjoy!

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Healthy Fall Treats: Apple Cider Health Benefits

apple-cider

Fall is on its way! In addition to the beautiful leaves, pumpkin patches and trick or treating, the fall season brings about a cornucopia of yummy snacks. Nothing could be more enjoyable than snuggling up in a warm blanket with a hot mug of apple cider on a crisp fall day. However, with the more health conscious trends happening in food and drink production one may ask, is apple cider healthy?

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