How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain: Feeding Children

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And now for the third question posed to me last week at the Mompreneur Twitter party.

Santa takes the baitQ3:  I’m concerned about my children stuffing themselves with so many holiday sweets, they won’t eat the healthy meals I prepare.  Any tips?

  • Children are great regulators of their eating if we set up their environment to support them.  I’ll tweet a few important points.
  • Set a schedule for meals and snacks.  When children regularly have their hunger satisfied, they don’t spend their time focused on food.
  • It’s also important not to forbid foods unless of course it’s something they don’t react well to.  Forbidding foods makes them more appealing.
  • At meals, offer variety of healthy, balanced foods they like. Include treats if it fits the meal, e.g., chips w sandwich, dessert, etc.
  • Don’t have to offer treats at ev meal but during holidays when they’re around more, may help keep them part of healthy eating
  • For snacks, try to balance treats with other foods, e.g., cookies and milk.
  • If child wants only sweets for snack, go ahead and let them eat only sweets. If it’s not off-limits, they won’t want that all the time.
  • Don’t keep a lot of foods on hand all the time that you don’t want ur kids to eat a lot of.  Sodas, for example.
  • Encourage children to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are satisfied.  You’re teaching them normal, healthy eating that way.

The same guidelines apply to adults, too.  Is that we’re all kids inside? :)

Can you think of any eating situations in which these guidelines wouldn’t work for kids or adults?

Tomorrow’s question:  Any suggestions for pot luck dishes that everyone will enjoy but are on the healthier side?

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