Healthy Meal Tricks for Those Who Prefer Treats

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Staying on a schedule is key for infants and toddlers, but I’ve found that consistency in routine is still important even when kids get older. My two children are 8 and 11 now, so they can adjust and “go with the flow” without me being worried about a 5pm meltdown. HOWEVER, things still seem to go smoother when I can keep our routine as close to norm as possible – or at least have some remnants of “norm.” 

One way that I try to do that is being diligent with regular meals around the holidays. The kids may not be that hungry after class parties, but we’ll still sit down for our regular meals and healthy food will at least be offered. This may just be an act that makes me feel better as a parent and dietitian, but I also think that slowing down – even for 5 to 10 minutes – is good for all of us around holidays. 

Three Tricks for Holiday Eating 

  1. Try serving snack-like finger foods at meals.

    • These meals tend to go over way better (as compared to a hot casserole or dish) in my house when holiday excitement is building. It also keeps meal prep super simple! 

  2. Don’t over-think things.

    • Just pick a food from at least three of these categories: PROTEIN, FRUIT, VEGETABLE, WHOLE GRAIN, or DAIRY. Pictured here are ham and cheese roll-ups (PROTEIN), baby carrots (VEGGIE), grapes (FRUIT) and popcorn (WHOLE GRAIN). Keep it simple.

  3. Don’t pressure, stress or stand-over.

    • Instead, offer, encourage, and then be done. This was definitely one that took me a little bit longer to learn! However, it has also been a major influencer in reducing stress about healthy eating around the holidays over at my house!


How do you survive meal time during the holidays?