Christmas is often a time that results in your child eating too many sweets and too much saturated fat. Many holiday foods are not nutritious and contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, salt and fat. Eating is part of celebrating and replacing some of the unhealthy choices with entertaining and nutritious fare will enable you to limit your child's intake of junk while also encouraging her to have a good time celebrating Christmas.
Vegetables And Dip
Many holiday affairs include unhealthy foods, including spinach dip or artichoke dip, Jean Pare notes in her book, "Christmas Celebrations: The Essential Guide for Festive Gatherings." If your child enjoys these foods, he may be eating far too much saturated fat and sodium without getting any nutrition 1. Making a healthier dip allows your child to enjoy his favorite holiday snack while also getting vitamins and minerals. Puree beans with olive oil and garlic for a fiber and protein-rich dip. Walnuts and spinach pureed with olive oil and herbs is another healthy option. Serve vegetables in a Christmas tree shape by using green bell peppers or broccoli as a tree and red bell peppers or radishes as ornaments. A yellow squash star can top the tree.
Cereal treats made with corn syrup or marshmallows are high in sugar, but most kids enjoy eating them. Revising the recipe with healthier ingredients will provide your child with nutrition while also reducing the amount of sugar she consumes. Choose a high fiber and low sugar cereal that is fortified with iron and other essential nutrients. Replace half of the marshmallows with a combination of honey and creamy peanut butter and melt. Stir in the cereal and press into a greased baking dish. Cool and cut into Christmas-themed shapes using cookie cutters.
Homemade muffins are a healthy holiday food because you can add nutritious ingredients and reduce the amount of fat and sugar they contain. Choose your favorite muffin recipe and replace at least half of the butter or oil with applesauce. Add frozen blueberries or blackberries to add sweetness to the muffins without a great deal of added sugar. Bake the muffins according to the recipe and allow to cool. Decorate to look like reindeer by using halved twisted pretzels as antlers, raisins as eyes and piece of strawberry for the mouth.
Coconut is a common addition to holiday desserts and treats, Jeff Guinn notes in his book, "Santa's North Pole Cookbook: Classic Christmas Recipes from Saint Nicholas Himself," and supplies several nutrients 2. Using coconut to create healthy snowflakes can be an entertaining snack food for your child. Fold a whole wheat tortilla into fourths and snip into a snowflake just like you would a piece of paper. Unfold and lay on a baking dish. Spread a small amount of unsalted butter on the snowflake and sprinkle with cinnamon and shredded coconut. Warm in the oven until the coconut is golden. This holiday snack supplies fiber, vitamin C, potassium and iron.
- "Christmas Celebrations: The Essential Guide for Festive Gatherings"; Jean Paré; 2006
- "Santa's North Pole Cookbook: Classic Christmas Recipes from Saint Nicholas Himself"; Jeff Guinn; 2007
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