The holiday season is here and for most that means summer holidays and festive celebrations… with plenty of food, food, and more often unhealthy food consumed! Healthy habits often take a holiday in December – but remember your immune system cannot afford to take a break.

Keeping up with healthy eating habits will benefit your whole body ensuring it remains healthy and in shape all year round:

  • Feed your children (and yourself) – a light meal or healthy snack before going to a holiday function. It’s harder to avoid overeating or eating too many of the wrong foods when you’re overly hungry.
  • Make sure there are always fruits and other healthy nibbles readily available for children to snack on throughout the day.
  • Offer salads and vegetable dishes with all meals.
  • Fizzy drinks are high in sugar so limit them as much as possible. Dilute juices with water or add sparkling water to make it more of a treat. Drink as much water as possible throughout the day.
  • While it may be impossible to avoid your toddlers indulging in sweet treats – make sure they are eating as many healthy foods as possible at all other times.
  • Keep normal eating patterns. With holidays it can be easy for your child’s routine to get off-track. Remain consistent with three meals a day and snacks in-between to ensure balanced blood sugar levels and in so doing avoid sugar-low meltdowns.
  • A common mistake is to eat light throughout the day to feel better about indulging on holiday dishes later. But this does not keep hunger at bay and ultimately leads to excessive overeating. Keep your normal healthy eating schedule in-between your unhealthy meals.
  • Take a walk after meals and ensure some form of physical activity through the holiday season.

If your child learns unhealthy eating habits during the holidays, it can be somewhat challenging for you to get them back to good food choices again in the New Year.  So start as you plan to finish – healthy – and follow these healthy eating tips for an easier start to 2018!

Contributor:  Clinical Nutritionist, Desi Horsman