To help families enjoy a happier holiday season, Dr. Jim has put together a collection of tips and suggestions on his L.E.A.N. website (drsearslean.com)
Often parents do not understand the correlation between food and how their child behaves. They may be visiting a relative and suddenly their child is completely out of control, acting out in ways they never thought possible. Embarrassed with their child’s behavior, they may overreact adding to the stressful situation or they may chalk it up to the child being overly excited. What they may not understand is that all the tasty treats that accompany the holidays may be like lighting a fuse to a rocket.
No parent wants to be a Scrooge during the holidays and even the most health conscious parents may let their child overindulge because it’s a special occasion. However, Dr. Jim has a FIVE TIPS to let your child enjoy itself while avoiding food related behaviors whether at a holiday gathering either at home or elsewhere.
1. STAVE THE CRAVE. Begin by feeding your child healthy snacks and lots of water before the big gathering. If traveling by car a long distance, bring healthy snacks to fill up on ahead of time, but you’ll want to watch the water intake.
2. SWEET RETREAT. Decide with your child ahead of time on what is an acceptable amount of candy or desert that may be eaten at a holiday gathering. Agree to take home for “another time” any special treats above the agreed amount – which they will likely forget about.
3. COLOR GUARD. Colorful foods are often full of food dyes that can cause erratic behaviors in children, so you will want to do your best to avoid these foods or omit the colored portions.
4. MICRO MANAGE. Avoid tummy aches from overeating by giving or serving your child on a smaller plate that makes the amount of food look larger.
5. FUEL EFFICIENT. Work with your host ahead of time by asking them to kindly keep sweet treats and beverages out of reach of children, and offer to bring “celebration soda” (100% fruit juice mixed with sparkling water) for the children to drink, avoiding sugary beverages full of high-fructose corn syrup which can cause children to have a burst of energy followed by a dramatic crash or display of tiredness and grumpiness.
On his drsearslean.com website, Dr. Jim also provides tips for eating out, traveling, keeping children safe, handling busy schedules, and minimizing and relieving stress for mom, dad and the kids. Additionally, he provides families with healthy recipes and substitutions that don’t compromise taste, keep your energy up, and let you skip adding those few extra pounds during the holidays.
FOR Dr. Jim Sears:
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Dr. Sears L.E.A.N. provides parent and child education on lifestyle, exercise, attitude and nutrition from "America's Pediatrician,"