Helping kids eat healthy over the holidays

This time of year there are lots of great things to eat and sweet treats within reaching distance. Let’s find a way to help our kids eat healthy all year round, especially during the holidays.

According to the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Program called my plate, youth should have half of their plate filled with fruits and vegetables. The other part of their plate should have whole grains and proteins, along with dairy. During the holiday, filling our plate with sweets may be very tempting for kids, but Michigan State University Extension is reminding you how important it is to teach children how to eat a balanced meal.

The USDA also has some great tip sheets like, 10 easy steps to reduce sweets. A few ways to do that is to avoid sweets in drinks, make sure kids have water and milk available to drink, and avoid punch, juices or pop.

The Kids.gov website provides some simple and easy ways for kids to be healthy during the holidays.

  • Nibble on healthy snacks like whole grain crackers, fruit or raw vegetables before the big feast.
  • When you are at a party or having a holiday meal, look for the foods that are healthier, like veggies or fruits, and make sure to eat some of those.
  • It takes your brain some time to signal that you are full. Wait 10-15 minutes before eating a second helping. This may keep you from overeating!
  • It’s not rude to say no to food. Don’t be pressured to eat if you aren’t hungry.
  • Eating holiday goodies like fudge, peanut brittle, cookies and other baked goods is fine, but eat them in small portions.

If you are looking for additional ways to learn about eating healthy, visit your local MSU Extension office for more information.

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