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.
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.
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
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.
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.