Enjoy The Festive Cheer Without Overindulging

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Five tips on how caregivers can make sure children don’t overindulge this festive season. 

Overeating leads to overnutrition and obesity, and a general feeling of being unwell. Children who overeat are prone to becoming overweight, which puts them at risk for other serious health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. With the holiday season approaching, it is normal for children to be tempted to overindulge in treats, given the amount of delicious food and drinks that surround them. This, however, can be the perfect time to teach children about the importance of good nutrition. Here are a few tips for parents and caregivers to ensure that children enjoy the upcoming festivities without overdoing it. 

1. Keep those portion sizes in check 

By managing portions, parents and caregivers can ensure that children don’t overeat while still enjoying all the treats. A balanced meal should include a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and water. Make sure those little tummies are full for longer by giving them small portions of lean protein like meat or chicken, vegetables and salads, and whole-grain carbs. Cut fruit in smaller pieces to manage the portions and have it readily at hand for a quick snack 

2. Make good choices by stocking up on healthy foods. 

As children eat what is available at home, it is important to make sure that fruits and vegetables are on hand, this will help children get enough nutrients, whether it be meal or snack time. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer, and help us all to be regular. Enjoy a colorful tray of seasonal summer fruits as a great way to end any meal. Mangoes, strawberries, grapes, guavas, and bananas are delightful summer fruits, or any other fruits that are in season (the in-season fruits will also be lighter on your pocket 

3. Make healthy alternatives to meals 

Instead of worrying about how to make unhealthy dishes healthier, find incremental ways to shift unhealthy dishes. The starting point can be the reduction of salt and using low fat options, instead of full fat ingredients. Make sure there is veggies with every meal. Even when snacking on crisps and dips have some cucumbers, carrots, or any other veggie as a dipping option.   

4. Moderation is always key. 

Children should know that treats will be available for them to enjoy but going back for seconds or thirds might cause a tummy ache. One trick is to try small samples of each dish which will likely fill up their plate to allow them to enjoy a variety of treats and not overindulge. 

5. Always stay active. 

Take some time to enjoy the sun (obviously in moderation and preferably not between 10 and 2 pm) by getting active. Being active is a great way to spend time with your family and friends while burning some energy. Early morning  or late afternoon hikes are a great and inexpensive way of being active whilst spending quality time with the children 

For more information on tips for healthy eating, log onto www.esar/n4hk.com