This time of year is wonderful for fun gatherings with family and friends, but it’s not so great for trying to steer clear of high-sugar dessert tables. Since increased sugar intake causes some crazy behavior and also makes it more difficult for immune systems to fight off colds and flus, it’s important for my family to get the holiday sugar rush under control. Here are a few things that work for us.
By Erin Guerreri
Talk about it: Prior to a gathering, we talk about how there will be a lot of delicious desserts, but we need to pick only one or two treats for the evening. After that, no asking, sneaking. Going in with our expectations set has helped tremendously. And, I’ve found it helpful to let the kids choose which treats they’ll have. It gives them a sense of autonomy that makes working with the expectations easier.
Find the fruit and veggies: There’s usually a fruit/veggie tray at holiday gatherings. My kids love to dip things so dipping veggies is always a nice diversion. Filling up on fruit isn’t a great idea, but it’s better than the refined sugar they’re getting in the cookies.
Fill up on good stuff throughout the day: When we know we’re heading to a gathering, I offer lots of healthy snack options throughout the day so no one is heading into the event with an empty stomach. If the kids are full of healthy fats and proteins, they’re less likely to binge on gingerbread men.
Relax: On the whole, our family leads a pretty healthy lifestyle so I think it’s okay to relax a little bit during the holiday season. Of course, we don’t go crazy, but having a few extra treats throughout the week is part of enjoying the season.