Tag Archives: Healthy Holidays

Keep Little Ones Happy and Healthy This Holiday Season

Happy, Healthy Holiday Season for Little Ones

Image by MartaMaria Fontana
Image by MartaMaria Fontana

As the holiday season approaches, many of us think about our own need to stay healthy and active. As we think about the parties, the cookies, the candy, the eggnog and all the wonderful food … a small sigh escapes our lips …. There goes the diet!

Adults are not the only ones with sweet treats tempting us to dig in and enjoy. Our kids are also bombarded with goodies all season. From Thanksgiving to Hanukkah and Christmas – all the way through New Year’s, the availability of sweets, treats, and good food in abundance is difficult to resist.

We are celebrating the holidays, and food is certainly a big part of the festivities. As adults we can make some rational choices about our dietary intake (if we choose to), our kids do not have quite the same resolve. It is up to us to make healthy choices easier for them.

Let’s look at a few ideas for holiday fun without all the sweet temptations.

Play Outside

When a child is playing hard, there is little time to think about anything else. If you get your children away from the table, away from the kitchen, and away from the house, they will do what kids do – forget and focus on the here and now.

No matter where you live and what the climate is like, there are things to do outside during the holiday season. Depending on their ages, you may have to do some if not all of the work preparing, but it will be well worth it.

If you have leaves, rake them up and give them free reign to jump and play and scatter the leaves. Get out the sidewalk chalk and decorate for the season. If you have snow, build a fort or a snowman, or have a snowball fight. Your kids will forget that plate of cookies if they get to pelt pop square on the back with a snowball, I guarantee it.

Take a walk through the neighborhood to see the decorations. Sing songs. Window shop. Sit on a park bench and watch the people. Take turns making up stories about who the people are and where they are going. Feed the ducks. Remember – the goal is to take them away from the sweet temptations at home.

Play Inside

It can be more difficult to keep your little ones’ attention away from sweets when they are inside. The trick is to plan games that require some thought and even some action. The game Twister comes to mind for indoor action, but there are many games for all ages that are great for keeping kids busy.

Choose thoughtful games such as charades, drawing games, or word games. Games that make your kids think and give them some good belly-laughs are perfect for keeping their minds off the sweets. Treasure hunts are especially engaging and can be played by all ages, with a little help. Be sure to have the treasure a non-food related treat and something everyone will enjoy.

You can easily play I Spy games indoors, or hide-and-seek, or other easy games with a variety of ages. Card games are versatile, too. There are so many options it is hard to choose sometimes. Challenge your kids to create their own games – in fact, play with them and make up some of your own.

Don’t forget crafts. Get out the bin of odds and ends and let their imagination run wild. Or plan a specific craft to make a product to give as a gift to a relative or friend of the family. Of course, video games are fun and certainly an option for some families. But, remember, they must be engaging for the whole family and keep little fingers and minds busy. I am not an advocate of letting them sit alone and play video games all day under any circumstances.

After a day of fun activities both outdoors and indoors, when it comes time to enjoy a sweet treat, they will enjoy it even more.

Happy Holidays!

Delicious Healthy Holiday Books and Recipes

Delicious Healthy Holiday Meals 

Most of us love the holidays and the scrumptiously delicious foods that are available in abundance throughout November and December. At the same time many of us worry a little (or a lot) about over eating and eating too many rich foods that we should probably not be eating (at least not in large quantities). How do we deal with that cognitive dissonance (conflicting beliefs/behaviors)? It is tough, but it can be done.

To help myself and all of you, I have put together a list of books, videos, and recipes. Hopefully, it will help all of us get through the holidays with less mental conflict and guilt and at the same time let us enjoy the holidays in a deliciously healthy way – without gaining extra pounds. ENJOY!

Books

Naughty Holiday Recipes Made Healthy! [Kindle Edition] ~ Dr. Kristen Harvey.

Everyone loves the holidays but they don’t love the imminent weight gain that seems to happen. But this year the weight gain does not have to happen. Pick up this quick 48-page Kindle eBook and you can still cook delicious, decadent tasting holiday recipes just a healthier version of them.

Healthy Holidays (Spiral-bound) ~ Chef Heather Haxo Phillips.

In this 48-page spiral bound book you will find out how you can still enjoy delicious holiday meals without packing on the pounds. It may only be 48 pages, but it’s packed full of savory recipes for holiday drinks, appetizers, entrees and more.

The Healthy Holiday Cookbook: Quick, Easy, Tasty and Affordable Recipes for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Other Celebrations [Kindle Edition] ~ Jessica King.

This book is broken down into eight different chapters – New Year Delights, Sweetheart Valentine’s Day Recipes, Scary Tasty Halloween, Eating too Much for Thanksgiving, A Taste of the Holidays, Hannukah, Other Holiday Treats and Conclusion. With the different chapters to choose from you’re sure to find some tasty recipes for the Holidays. And better yet, they’re healthy recipes!.

Healthy Holiday Guide: 7 Tips to Stay Healthy and Skip the Weight Gain ~ Kim Hiatt.

If you are looking for quick, easy, and healthy holiday recipes, pick up this 94-page book. The author provides seven simple to follow tips that will help you keep the weight gain, this holiday season, away.

25 Holiday Gluten-free Recipes Home-made Delicious and healthy ~ Carolyn DeLong.

This holiday season if you’re eating gluten-free (or have family/friends who are) and wanting to avoid the inevitable holiday weight gain, this book is for you. You’ll find sweet and savory recipes such as Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Turkey Dinner, Gingerbread Cookies and many more.

Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday [Kindle Edition] ~ Rogene A. Robbins.

With over 20 recipes to choose from, there’s something so savory and delicious about these recipes that your family and friends won’t even know they are healthy. You won’t find just recipes in this 70-page Kindle book either. The author says that holidays aren’t just about food so it’s not surprising that one section of the book is devoted to and titled that – “Making the Holidays about More than Food”.

Healthy n’ Wholesome – Holiday Favorites Cookbook: Awesome Healthy Cookbook for Beginners ~ Healthy n’ Wholesome.

Now you can eat healthy during the holidays too. And just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to skimp on taste. Grab this book and you’ll find mouth watering holiday recipes so quick and easy that even a beginner can prepare them. From recipes like Sweet Potato Pie, Collard Greens, Fruit Cake, Eggnog and more, you’re sure to find something that will suit even the pickiest eater.

Delicious Holiday Recipes: Cook Fast, Eat Healthy Even On A Tight Budget ~ Kelly Klein.

This cookbook offers 98 pages of easy, healthy and budget-friendly holiday recipes. What more could you ask for? From Cheese-Stuffed Potatoes to Turkey Patties to Orange Gelatin Salad and Sugar Cookies, you’ll have several mouth-watering recipes to choose from.

Your Healthy Holidays Mini-Cookbook 2013 (Holiday Entertaining) [Kindle Edition] ~ Sorcha MacMurrough, Shanna Murchison & Evelyn Trimborn.

This is exactly what it says it is – a mini cookbook but your family and friends will thank you for picking up a copy of it when you tantalize their taste buds with mouth-watering goodness such as roast pork with cranberry glaze, broccoli with lemon butter sauce, low-fat peanut butter cookies, and more.

Delicious Healthy Holiday Recipes and Videos

Main Dishes

Shrimp Cocktail - Image by Bryan Thatcher
Image by Bryan Thatcher

Shrimp Cocktail

Pork Medallions & Cherry Sauce

Christmas Salad With Pancetta, Chanterelles And Pine Nuts

Ginger Glazed Duck

Honey-Glazed Ham

Braised Lamb Shanks - Image by Albert Lynn
Image by Albert Lynn

Braised Lamb Shanks

Christmas Turkey

Crab Eggs Benedict

Filet Mignon

Easy Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Christmas Roast Lamb Rosemary & Garlic

 

Side Dishes

Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto 

Roasted Cauliflower with Olive Oil & Salt Roasted Cauliflower with Olive Oil and Salt

Glazed Butternut Squash 

Green Beans with Pearl Onions

Roasted Butternut Squash With Brown Sugar

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Winter Fruit Salad

Green Bean Almondine Recipe

Roasted Garlic and Cayenne Kale Chips

 

Desserts

White Chocolate Krispies 

Chocolate-Dipped Almond Meringues 

Eggless Chocolate Cheesecake 

Pumpkin Ice Cream with Ginger Cake
Image by Dave Beckett

Pumpkin, Ginger And Nutmeg Ice Cream 

Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Peppermint Brownie Truffles-Fast & Easy

No-Cook Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

November Apple Kuchen

Image by clkohan
Image by clkohan

Iced Sugar Cookies