During the holiday season, especially during Thanksgiving, the American people, including children, have a habit of overeating and eating foods that are not healthy. Although your children should have opportunities to enjoy the foods of the holidays, they also need healthy alternatives and additions. You may provide your child with elderberry immunity pops during the winter months, but these are some ways to improve your children’s diet during Thanksgiving.
Create a Colorful Plate
Every day, you and your children should be eating a plate full of colorful food. The color of foods suggests different health benefits and nutrients. For example, red vegetables and fruits are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, while green foods are loaded with vitamin K and potassium. Yellow, white, orange, blue and purple vegetables and fruits also promote good health.
Your plate and that of your children should be colorful. In fact, up to 75% of your plate should be filled with colored vegetables and fruits.
Make Veggies Fun
You may remember ants on a log, tomato flowers or turkeys made from vegetables when you were younger. The internet is loaded with ideas for making your vegetables fun. Make eating them exciting and creative to encourage your children to eat them.
Avoid Foods With Preservatives
You may ask, “What are preservatives?” Preservatives are chemicals that were created to improve the appearance of food and keep it fresh. They can also be used to maintain nutrition in your food. However, many preservatives are not healthy, especially in large quantities. Therefore, avoid serving foods that are loaded with preservatives, such as boxed and preprepared frozen or canned foods.
Control Portion Size
Many people overeat during Thanksgiving. You probably know people who overload their first plate and then go back for seconds. They may even eat all day long. This is not a good example for your children, however.
Teach your children to eat until they are satisfied, not over full. Therefore, control their portions and how often they eat during the holiday. This encourages healthy eating habits that will protect them as they grow into adulthood.
Thanksgiving is a time to indulge in things you don’t normally have. You know your children are going to want these desserts. However, you can prevent them from overeating these sweet treats. First, you can determine the size of their treat portions. Cut their size by one-half or one-third, especially if they are eating several deserts during the day. Also, give them choices among dessert options rather than allowing them to eat some of all the available choices.
Let Children Help in the Kitchen
Children are more interested in eating foods that they helped make. If your children are like most, they enjoy helping you, even if they only help with minor things. Therefore, allow your children to wash the vegetables or stir the ingredients for a dish. If they are older, they can actually help make dishes, stir things on the stove or cut vegetables. Give them the opportunity to see what they are eating and help prepare the meal.
Thanksgiving is a time for family and sharing a special meal. However, that meal doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Supplements, such as elderberry gummies for toddlers, should not be the only source of nutrition for your family.