I have spoken to many parents feeling a little concerned that Christmas & school holidays may throw their nutrition routine out the window. Whilst that is ok for a short time, it is absolutely possible to celebrate and have some balance too, hooray! . Try these tips for your family:
Healthy snacks at home:
Choose fresh, natural, unprocessed foods, where possible:
– Cheese (tasty or cottage) on seeded crackers
– Fresh fruit cut-up
– Carrot, cucumber or tomato cut-up and served with hummus.
– Popcorn (for children over 3 years of age).
– Healthy bliss balls
– Boiled eggs
– Nuts and seeds
– Canned beans e.g. chickpeas
How do treat foods fit in?
There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ food, as balance is the key. Treat foods do fit into healthy eating, sometimes. Parties and special occasions are those time to include these foods, the rest of the time, offer healthy snacks and meals.
Is nutrition actually important over school holidays?
School holidays add up to 14 weeks of the year – that is over 3 months, or 25% of your child’s total diet! Keep a similar routine to school, with meals at similar times. Encourage eating at designated times rather than snacking throughout the day to promote hunger at meal times. Promote physical activity, encourage your kids to play outside and reduce time spent on screens. Hunger levels may be different to the school year, if activity levels are different too.
By Emma McShane (Dietitian) & Nicole Bando (APD, IBCLC), December 2022