By: Heather Dyson
The American Heart Association recommends that preschool aged children should consume no more than 4 teaspoons, or about 16 grams of added sugar per day (this includes sugar added to sweet foods, cereals, breads, crackers, yogurt, condiments, etc.) Unfortunately, studies show that children ages 1-3 consume as much as 12 teaspoons, or 48 grams, of added sugar per day!
Below are some tips for keeping your kids healthier during the holidays:
1) Offer to bring small bottled waters and cute fruit to parties. Here are some fun ideas for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays (Idea 1 and Idea 2).
2) Pack treat bags with fun non-food items and only one small treat.
3) Let children choose their favorite treats from parties and trick or treat to keep in a small Ziploc baggie and donate the rest. Let your child choose one small treat a day from bag and keep it in cupboard that is out of sight.
4) Invite the “Switch Witch” over after Halloween or Holiday parties.
5) Choose one of your family’s favorite cookie or dessert recipes to make for each holiday instead of making several varieties and freeze leftovers.
Holidays are special occasions that we all cherish, and seem even more special when you have a little one to celebrate with you! Focus on spending quality time with family and friends by making crafts, reading books and playing games with a holiday theme rather than focusing on food. A little indulgence is totally fine but by staying mindful and planning ahead, you and your wee ones can stay healthy throughout the holidays!
About the Author: Heather Dyson is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian who currently focuses on counseling patients with a variety of health situations, and in ages ranging from infancy to elderly. Click here to learn more about Heather.