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Healthy Holiday Eating

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The Holidays are the perfect opportunity for parents to teach their children healthy eating habits.

It’s all about balance. It’s OK to let your kids indulge a little. What matters is healthy choices year-round. Before leaving for that holiday event, try making them a light snack such as apples and peanut butter or carrots and hummus. Choose foods from all different colors of the rainbow.

Limit sweets at least one hour before bedtime. Sugar can disturb your child’s sleep and mood. Parents can also mix treats with dried fruit, whole grains, nuts or seeds to make trail mix.

Many fruits and vegetables can be used as healthy alternatives in holiday cooking. Unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas, canned pumpkin puree, ground flax seed or beans can be used to replace traditional fats such as butter and shortening. These swaps increase the fiber and antioxidant content in your dish.

Get out and get some fresh air! Rake leaves, build a snowman, go to a new park or trail, go ice skating. You can get creative indoors, too! Have a holiday-themed scavenger hunt or play hide and seek.

Set a good example. You can’t expect your kids to make healthy choices on their own. Be a shining example! Eat healthy and get moving as a family!

This is Kimberly Boone Registered Dietician with Church Health.