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Tips to Help Kids Eat Mindfully Over the Holidays

Tips to Help Kids Eat Mindfully Over the Holidays

Here are eight holiday tips to keep kids and adults feeling great while eating and afterwards. Remember children are great regulators of their eating if we set up an environment to support them:

  1. Encourage children to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are satisfied.  You’re teaching them normal, healthy eating that way.
  2.  Set a schedule for meals and snacks.  When children regularly have their hunger satisfied, they don’t spend their time focused on food.
  3. Don’t forbid foods unless of course it’s something they don’t react well to.  Forbidding foods makes them more appealing.
  4. At meals, offer a variety of healthy, balanced foods they like. Include treats if it fits the meal, e.g., chips with a sandwich, dessert, etc.
  5. You don’t have to offer treats at every meal but during holidays when they’re around more, offering them may help keep treats part of healthy eating.
  6. For snacks, try to balance treats with other foods, e.g., cookies and milk.
  7. If child wants only sweets for snack, go ahead and let them eat only sweets. If it’s not off-limits, they won’t want that all the time.
  8. Don’t keep foods that you don’t want your kids to eat a lot of on hand all the time.  Sodas, for example.

These tips can help you turn the holidays into a healthy eating environment that lets kids have treats they love and teaches them to also love foods that don’t come loaded with sugar, salt or fat. The same guidelines apply to the kid in all of us!

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