Tis’ the season.
The season for pies, cookies, and candy galore.
Between the holiday parties, cookies from neighbors, and candy canes around every corner, the holidays can quickly put our kids on a month long sugar high! The American tradition of consuming excessive calories from Thanksgiving to New Year’s gives us all an extra 1-2 pounds on average. Often times, we never lose this weight, creating a detrimental cycle of weight gain.
As we discussed a few weeks ago, the childhood obesity epidemic continues to rise. It’s high time we talk about establishing a healthy lifestyle for our kids, even during the holidays. But sometimes, finding healthy food for kids can be difficult, especially with so many goodies around! So here’s some inspiration on how to get creative with healthy eating for kids…
Get the right cut of meat
Instead of serving dark meat slathered in gravy, serve lower-fat white meat with a healthier gravy on the side.
Mashed Potatoes v. Sweet Potatoes
Your family probably loves mashed potatoes this time of year, so why not switch out the regular potato for a nutrient dense sweet potato? This superfood is packed with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A & C. The kiddos won’t miss the traditional kind when they taste how sweet this potato really is!
Easy baking substitutes
There are tons of ways to save calories through substitutions. For instance, you can substitute applesauce for half of the oil called for in a recipe! Or you can use Stevia, a natural zero-calorie sweetener, instead of sugar. You can cut the amount of butter in your recipes in half by using Greek yogurt instead! With these sneaky little changes your kids will never know they are eating the healthier alternative to their favorite treats.
Don’t forget the fruits and veggies
Before starting the main course, make sure to serve the healthy options. Veggies and hummus dip is an excellent appetizer to add to your holiday menu. Make a large salad for the first course, or if your kids won’t eat a salad try and bowl of mixed fruit with stevia sprinkled on top. Having a low-calorie, high fiber course to start the meal will keep everyone from filling up on those dinner rolls.
Everything in moderation
One day of unhealthy eating is not going to ruin our health. So allow your kids to enjoy the holidays! Have a glass of eggnog and eat until you can’t eat anymore! Just don’t let this continue for weeks. It has become a trend that the holidays aren’t just a couple of days…they become months of unhealthy habits and poor choices that can hinder our health.
Need more inspiration for healthy holiday food? Check out our Pinterest page!