Kids, Nutrition, Tips / How-Tos, Toddlers

How to Prevent Holiday Overeating With Your Kids

‘Tis the season to overeat, and with food often ever present during this time of year, it can be hard to avoid. Multiple parties to attend and seasonal treats around the house can lead to overindulgence over a period of time. The holidays can also get parents and kids out of their usual eating routine.

While adults are more likely to overindulge, your little ones can also be enticed by the repetitive opportunities for treats. Here are six strategies to help you and your kids tackle holiday eating temptations.

Set expectations

Remind your kids that they don’t need to eat everything sweet and salty in sight. Extra treats are OK every once in awhile; just set the boundaries beforehand so they know what to expect. For instance, “you can have a piece of cake or a cookie (not both!) after you finish your meal.”

Bring healthy sides

Fiber-filled vegetables are a must! We love these easy kid-friendly recipes: glazed carrots, mashed cauliflower or for something a little more adventurous, this wheat berry salad with Tuscan kale and butternut squash.

Steer your kids in the right direction

Keep meals balanced and help them build their plate with a variety of food groups at potluck-style events. For example, if they take a muffin encourage them to take some veggies, if they take some stuffing encourage them to take some turkey as well.

Get moving

Take a walk with the family after dinner. Help clean the kitchen or clear the table. Make time for you and your kids to move together.

Avoid extra liquids

Other than low-fat milk and/or water, refrain from any other liquid calories. Juice, soda and other sweetened beverages add up. Ask your kids: would you rather have a sweet drink at dinner or have dessert?

Have a glass of milk with dessert

It’ll secretly fill them up! Grab that extra dose of calcium to keep bones staying strong.

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, we hope you have a wonderful season spent with friends, family and food. Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Lara Field at Nurture Life

Lara Field

Lara has been working with Nurture Life since its inception, collaborating with the culinary team on the creation of all menus and recipes to ensure they are nutritionally appropriate and correctly proportioned for every age and stage of a child’s development and providing pediatric nutrition expertise to Nurture Life customers. Lara is the owner/founder of FEED—Forming Early Eating Decisions, a nutrition consulting practice specializing in pediatric nutrition and digestive diseases. Lara has over a decade of experience in clinical practice at two of the top ranked pediatric hospitals in the country, Lurie Children’s Hospital and University of Chicago Medical Center. Lara received her B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.S. and dietetic internship from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Lara truly enjoys the process of eating (and feeding!), from procuring the ingredients at various grocery stores and farmers markets, to organizing her pantry/refrigerator at home to make it easy to select healthy options, to preparing balanced meals with her children. Whether it be a decadent treat to a hearty, home-cooked meal, there is no greater satisfaction for Lara than enjoying food with her family.