Cincinnati Children's Blog

Tips for Eating Healthy During the Holidays

The holidays are officially here – the mall has transformed into a winter wonderland and families everywhere are perfecting their Thanksgiving menu for tomorrow.

For me, the holidays mean relaxing, having fun with family and friends, and of course eating lots of delicious food. I have been counting down the days until I can have my grandma’s famous stuffing.

It is easy to put healthy eating habits aside and indulge during the holiday season. As a child, I can remember walking into my family’s holiday party mesmerized and overwhelmed by all the food. Cincinnati Children’s has compiled an excellent list of tips for families to eat healthy during the holiday season to help the whole family avoid over-doing it:

*Have a plan. If you know your family is going to a party or a get-together where there will be lots of food, be proactive and don’t go hungry. Have a light snack of fruit, veggies or low-fat cheese before the event.

*Establish the one-trip rule. This means children can make one trip through the food line, and if they want more they need to ask you before they go back.

*Fill your plate first with vegetables, fruits and salad before diving into the entrees and desserts, and encourage family members to do the same. Keep in mind that a person’s rounded palm equals ½ cup and is an appropriate portion size for most foods. 

Over-eating and too much sugar for children is a recipe for disaster. Too many sweet treats and yummy holiday food can disrupt a children sleep, which in turn makes them cranky and irritable. To avoid a downward spiral, these tips are excellent to keep in mind:

*Plan accordingly. Allow your children to have an extra nap in the afternoon if necessary.

*Make sure children have their last sweet treat or snack at least an hour before bedtime.

*Make sure children get at least one regular meal throughout the day.

A few considerations before a holiday party can make a big difference in the long run. You can find the full list of tips on our website  and if you have any questions or concerns, post them here and we’ll address them as quickly as possible for you. Happy Holidays!

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