Holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends.

    Holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends.  Holidays usually include meals of favorite family dishes.  Talk to your child about these traditional foods.  What are they made of?  Who usually makes the food?  What are your memories of eating these family foods? Serving traditional family foods gives your child a sense of family and love.  Some children will eat better at family gatherings and some will eat worse.  They may be too excited to think about eating.  It can be very frustrating if your child does not want to eat and your family wants to force your child to eat:.

Avoid mealtime pressures

    Let your child choose what he/she wants to eat.  Do not worry if she does not want to eat the fruit salad or the casserole.  There will be other healthy meals later.  

    • Encourage your child to taste new foods.  Talk about what is in dishes.

    • Serve small amounts of food on your child’s plate.  He can always ask for more.  

    • Never force a child to eat food.  This is too much pressure for a small child in front of large groups.

    • Let your child decide how much food he/she will eat.  Never make a child clean his plate.

Holiday baking

    Healthy eating during the holdays can be difficult.  Many families have traditional sweets that they love to bake and eat, but can be high in fat or calories.  It is important to continue these traditional foods.  All foods can be part of a healthy diet.          Make healthy baking choices.

    Bake less/bake less variety

    Make smaller cookies.  Cut candy into small pieces. Sweets will go further and you will eat less

    Freeze sweets before the holidays.  They will be out of sight and less tempting.

    Give away sweets.  Your homemade cookies and candies will make great gifts for family friends and neighbors.

    Source: Adapted from University of Minnesota Extension: Food Bytes-December 2015, All information written, reviewed and/or edited by Mary Caskey, Associate Program Director, Health and Nutrition Programs, SNAP-Ed; For more health and nutrition information visit our website:  Reproduced by Megan Janssen, SNAP-Ed Educator, U of M Extension Regional Center, Crookston—218-281-8688;