Disclosure: I do consultant work for GoGo squeeZ and I was compensated to write the post. Opinions and thoughts are my own.
The song says it’s the most wonderful time of the year but not so much if you’re the parent or caregiver trying to balance sensible eating among your kids between the continuous candy/pie/cookie/comfort food fest we seem to be in from October 31 through December 31.
Heck, it’s a challenge for myself let alone keeping some sense of structure for my 9-year old. And by that, I mean putting my foot down when she requests candy canes for breakfast.
OK, I never would let her do that. But leftover pie perhaps…
And while I’d never be one to say have an apple instead of a slice of apple pie or a favorite holiday cookie, there are some basic things you CAN do to keep everyday eating and snacking SENSIBLE (and yourself sane) this time of year.
1) Stick to Breakfast and Lunch Routines
If you have three nights of holiday dinner dates in a row, make sure the whole family is having their usual good start to the day and midday. Or if holiday brunches are happening, plan for a lighter meal come dinner time. This is where meal prep, meal planning and healthy leftovers really come in handy <—- not usually my forte but here are some helpful links:
10 Tips For Better Meal Planning During the Holidays – @The Kitchn
Help Your Kids Build A Healthy Breakfast – Sally @Real Mom
Cracker Stackers: 5 Fixes for Healthy Lunches
12 Ways to Use Leftovers – Lindsay @Lean Green Bean Blog (Bonus: Linsday has an awesome ebook The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep, too)
45 Healthy Freezer Meals – EA @The Spicy RD
2) Pack For the Road (Rail or Sky)
Holidays often involve travel whether by car, train or plane and this is where good eating habits can really break down if you aren’t somewhat prepared.
Have a stash of portable, non-perishable, no refrigeration required snacks in your purse, carry-on or kids’ backpacks. I love GoGo squeeZ for this reason – they have a fruit pouch flavor for everyone, including these cool fruit & VeggieZ pouches and their new line of yogurtZ (no ice pack needed!) Granola bars, packs of nuts, fruit leather, turkey jerky and popcorn are other handy and easy snacks to eat on the go.
3) Include Holiday Flavors In Snacks
Do your kids (or you) like pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, gingerbread or all of the above? Now, I’m not saying replace their favorite treat altogether but rather than having it six days in a row, you can incorporate those seasonal flavors into better-for-you snacking options. Here are a few ideas:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Cookies (drizzle with Banana YogurtZ!)
Sugar & Spice Pumpkin or Squash Seeds
Fig Pecan No-Bake Bites
Peanut Butter Popcorn Crunch
How do you balance holiday treats with healthy eating habits this time of year? Would love to hear your strategies!
Thursday 13th of April 2017
These look so appetizing! Thanks for sharing.
Tuesday 15th of November 2016
Sticking to those regular meals and leaving the extra treats out of the "regular" days in between all of the holidays is a must! I also have a December birthday smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas/Chanukah so I know this all too well...it's all about balance after all!
Wednesday 16th of November 2016
Oh my gosh - birthday celebrations and cake too on top of everything else! (Happy early birthday :)