During the holidays, you may find that your schedules does not allow for consistent mealtimes. As a result, you may have children coming to the table overly hungry (and probably crabby due to hunger) or coming to the table already full as they have snacked on less healthy foods prior to the meal.
As an adult, there are some simple things you can do to keep holiday mealtimes happy for young children.
- Aim for consistent mealtimes. If your child typically eats at 11:30 a.m. every day, don’t expect them to wait until 1:00 p.m. to eat if you are out shopping or attending holiday events. Try to plan your schedule so they can eat within an hour of their regular mealtime.
- Use healthy snacks. If you know mealtime will be an hour or more past their regular mealtime, plan a small healthy snack at their regular mealtime. Apple slices, carrot sticks, or even half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are great options. Keep some dried fruit or crackers in your car so you have a healthy snack if your shopping takes longer than planned. Keep the amount small enough so their hunger is satisfied, but they are still hungry for the family meal.
- Avoid “grazing” on less healthy foods. Holidays are a great time to enjoy traditional family cookies, fudge, and other sweet foods. It’s important for young children (and adults too) to avoid eating (grazing) on these sweet treats all day. Plan to serve these sweet treats as dessert or a snack. Avoid having a cookie or goodie tray set out all day.
Holidays are a nice time to be with family and friends. Keeping mealtime consistent and providing a variety of fruits and vegetables for snacks will help keep children happy.
Mary Schroeder works for the University of Minnesota Extension which helps to connect community needs with University of Minnesota resources. Specifically the Health and Nutrition programs and resources focus on disease & obesity prevention, healthy school environments, and continuing education for community professionals. You can link to the Extension Health and Nutrition website at: http://www.extension.umn.edu/health/
This time of year often evokes a wide range of feelings – excitement, joy, sadness, longing or all of the above. Especially for moms, any and all of those emotions often come with holiday stress and anxiety – “How can I possibly get everything done?!” Family researcher Dr. Anna Kudak has spent recent years interviewing women about their holiday experiences and even following some moms into the kitchen or shopping mall, and she has a lot to say about why the holidays stress us out. But she and Marti & Erin also have some good ideas about how to ease up a bit and find your true meaning in whatever holidays you celebrate! TUNE IN HERE.
Think about the last big holiday you celebrated. To what extent did it capture the meaning you wanted it to have? What messages do you think your children received from you about the meaning of the holiday? What would you wish to do differently the next time the holidays roll around to reduce your holiday stress? Reply below!
This post was created by Mom Enough and used with permission
How Are You Approaching the Sensitivities Toward Holidays in the Classroom?
Rae Pica with Amanda Morgan, Giselle Lundy-Ponce, Nancy Flanagan
The holidays can bring both great memories and controversy to your classroom. Our guests share their advice on making the most of the season. TUNE IN HERE!
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