Haney_Health Holiday Eating_Large

Holiday Eating Tips for Families

Author: Mary Jo Haney, RD, CSP
Published Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

During the holiday season food is at every celebration, which may make it tough for you and your family to stick to healthy eating habits. Here are some ways you can all enjoy the holidays without losing track of your healthy lifestyle.

Holiday Eating Tips for Parents & Kids:

  • Parents should set an example for kids by preparing and eating healthy meals balanced with an occasional treat.
  • Include kids in family meal planning. The more they’re involved, the more apt they are to try new, healthy foods.
  • Learn to say “no, thank you” when you are not hungry or have had enough. Never make your child be a part of the “clean plate club.”
  • Instead of cookies and chips, keep healthy snacks available and in plain sight.
  • When you receive food as a gift – eat a little, share the rest.
  • If you are attending a holiday gathering, offer to bring a vegetable tray or salad to share.

Parties at Your Child’s School:

  • Offer small toys instead of sweets like stickers or bouncy balls.
  • Focus on crafts not snacks. Make an ornament or holiday card for friends and family.
  • Play a holiday game that will get kids moving like pin the nose on the reindeer.
  • Present healthy food options in a fun way such as fruit kabobs.

Fit in Exercise:

  • While you and the kids are off for the holidays, plan extra physical activities to help relieve stress and burn calories. Take a walk together after dinner.
  • Go for a hike or bike ride at a local park or learn a new dance from YouTube or a DVD.
  • If you are traveling out of town, look into gyms nearby that may let you attend as a guest.
  • Try a new activity your family has never done before like roller skating or ice skating to keep everyone moving and away from electronics.
  • Most of all, enjoy the holiday season and continue to keep a healthy lifestyle throughout the year.

    About Mary Jo Haney, RD, CSP

    Mary Jo Haney, RD, CSP, is a registered dietitian certified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics with a specialty in pediatrics. She received her Bachelors of Science degree at Pennsylvania State University and was an intern at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Mary Jo has worked at CHKD for over 20 years and is currently working in the outpatient setting helping address nutritional concerns of children and their families in the community.