Does it ever feel like October through December is just one big sugar fest? From trick or treating to holiday parties, there’s certainly no shortage of candy and sweets during this time. And while it’s 100% okay for you and your family to enjoy these festive treats in moderation, we wanted to provide some guidance on how to avoid a sugar overload.
So, what’s a health conscious parent to do at a time like this? You don’t want to deprive your children of the joy that holiday treats bring, but you also don’t want to see their blood sugar spike through the roof day in and day out. Try out these helpful tactics for maintaining balance and moderation this season:
1. Set Up a Treat Jar. Through the season, you’re likely to receive lots of cookies, pies, and cakes from loved ones. Rather than giving little ones free reign over these things throughout the day, create a treat jar. Set aside certain times of the day to allow your kids to choose from the jar. When the jar is sealed, your kids will know that snack time is over. It’s up to you how many times per day the jar is opened, but we recommend doing this sparsely (and providing more nutritious snacks for fuel between meals most of the time).
2. Choose Favorites. As mentioned above, the holiday season can leave your counter and fridge space looking like a full on bakery or candy shop. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, choose a few items to enjoy over the next week or so, and freeze the rest! Depending on the type of treat, it’ll likely be just as delicious after you thaw it out in the future.
3. Don’t Obsess. Often times, when we create a hierarchy of foods and label them as “good” and “bad”, it creates an unhealthy mindset surrounding food. If we are overly restrictive of certain foods (like sweets), our little ones are likely to obsess over them. When we treat them just like we treat other foods, and don’t make a big fuss of them, they lose their power over us. Ultimately, this is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with food into adulthood, too. We could all benefit from this idea!
4. Share. Consider sharing wrapped goods with loved ones (like family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers). This allows your family to still experience the joy surrounding these treats, without actually consuming them! Of course, we recommend taste testing the treat before hand. 😉
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Let us know on our Facebook page!