Christmas and sweets are so interlinked many parents find it hard to keep track of their child’s sugar intake over the holidays.
Ways to Hold Off the Sugar
- Reduce sugary drinks
Children love their soda, lemonade, sports drinks, fruit punch and the like with their meals or snacks, but these beverages come with high amounts of sugar which is not good for them. Even fruit juice is not that good because all the fiber from the fruit has been removed. Instead of serving them lemonade, why not pair their meal with milk or water.
- Serve yogurts
Another way to help reduce the amount of sugar that your children are eating during snack is to give them yogurt, the full fat ones, since they are low in sugar content. Greek yogurt may be a good choice, but it has high protein content. If you can make your own yogurt then all well and good, but if not, you can look for yogurt that has lower sugar content.
- Prepare more vegetables and fruits
Since you will be cooking more at home, it is your responsibility to add more vegetables and fruits to the table. And it’s not just your kids who will be eating them, but you should too as well. Keep in mind that your children will be following you so setting them up with good eating habits at a young age is going to help them out in the long run.
- Drink More Water.
Many of the empty kilojoules consumed at Christmas come from unhealthy soft drinks. Drinking more water will quench children’s thirst and also help them feel fuller. You can make water appealing by jazzing it up with fruit, cucumbers, lemons and limes. Get kids involved in making fun-shaped ice-cubes and freezing berries to add to water. Colourful cups and reusable straws will help kids feel enthusiastic about drinking water.
- Plan Outdoor Activities.
To take the focus off food this Christmas, plan fun activities that get kids into the great outdoors and away from the table and their devices. Take a walk together as a family to view the Christmas lights in your neighbourhood. It’s a perfect time of year for swimming, beach cricket and volleyball. Gifts that encourage kids to get outside and get moving, rather than sitting on the couch are ideal for reducing sugar consumption and burning off kilojoules.
- Provide Healthy Snacks.
One of the most tried-and-true ways to reduce sugar intake is by providing healthy snacks for kids to munch on. Buy ready-to-eat vegetables in snack sizes and keep cottage cheese and hummus handy for dips. Make healthy Christmas treats such as watermelon Christmas trees and banana snowmen to entice children to eat well. There are many easy snack ideas online for Christmas that you can make together. Not only is this fun for kids, but it also encourages them to think about healthy eating.
READ ALSO: 10 HEALTHIEST FOODS FOR BREAKFAST