Dad's Guide to Fighting the Holiday Sugar Rush
'Tis the season for gingerbread houses, candy canes, holiday parties, and cookie exchanges! All fun activities for sure, but the sugar count can quickly add up. And you know what that means, Dad. Extra energetic kids who come home wired and nowhere near ready to wind down for bed, plus a couple extra pounds for you. But no need to be a Grinch and ban all holiday sugary fun and festivities. Just adopt our Holiday Sugar Rush Attack Plan and you'll strike the right balance between allowing too many holiday indulgences and obsessing over health.
Be a Holiday Hero with our tips for combating the Holiday Sugar Rush without fighting the fun along the way!
5 Tips to Healthy Holiday Eating for You and Your Kids
#1: Set reasonable limits: Walk your kids through the buffet line at holiday parties and show them how many treats they are allowed to put on their plate. If healthy options such as fruits and veggies are also available, require them to eat some of those first. Take small portions, then wait 10-15 minutes before getting seconds to let the food settle. This will help you and the kids avoid overeating.
- #2: Use healthy cooking options at home: As you and your kids prepare your holiday meal or bake holiday treats for parties (or just for fun!), use low-fat ingredients or try some healthy substitutes. For example, replace half the butter or oil with applesauce, or use low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream. Try these healthy substitutes recommended by the Mayo Clinic. Experiment with some these healthy holiday recipes from Food Network.
- #3: Don't go to parties hungry: Have a healthy snack before heading out to the party - especially if you know the food offered there will be primarily dessert. This will protect you and the kids from overeating to satisfy hunger. Also, encourage your kids to drink lots of water to compensate for the extra sugar intake.
- #4: Stay active: Make sure the kids have plenty of activities to keep them active to balance the extra eating during the holiday and to prevent them from snacking out of boredom. Stash away some favorite toys, board games, or crafts and pull them out only when the kids are on break from school - the kids will be excited to play with something "new." Encourage them to play outside, but make sure they bundle up if it's cold. And, Dad, you should be active too - get outside and play too!
- #5: Balance "yes" and "no": Don't overbook your family's holiday schedule. If you're out and about every evening, your kids will be exhausted and cranky. And it's okay to say "no" to some of your kids requests for treats. That said, it is the holidays and it's a special time for kids - it's okay to loosen up and have a good time. If you're concerned about overindulging, balance saying "no" to some parties and treats with some special activities at home that are just for you and your family.
With a little bit creativity and effort, you can protect your kids from the Holiday Sugar Rush while still making the most of this festive season.
You Can Be Your Family's Holiday Hero!