Children have access to so much more sugar and processed foods over the festive period. But does it really matter, how concerned do we need to be?
My priority is always to allow kids to feel relaxed and happy around food so I’m fine with some grazing of traditional indulgent foods. Food items that are denied or restricted become taboo. Off-limits is exciting. Out of bounds can become a bit like a game of hide and seek. So when there is a little chocolate on show it is so much less tempting.
Language we use around foods needs to be carefully thought out. ‘Naughty’ foods, ‘bad’ foods, ‘I’m going to be good today’ – such comments can be confusing for young minds. Let’s just have a bit of what we fancy and not worry too much.
It’s a good idea to create a balance. So, blitzing up some healthy dips to serve with crudities, alongside the crisps and bowls of salty crackers provides a great message. This recipe below is fabulous for dipping in chunks of cucumber and carrot sticks and would work well in a school lunch box too. Protein and fibre rich due to the pea content, so giving a good level of satiety and smoothing out the blood sugar balance.
Crushed Pea and Basil
70g defrosted frozen peas
1 tbsp ricotta
juice of ½ lemon
1 carrot, cut into sticks for dipping
Pop ingredients into the small bowl of a food processor. Blitz the peas with the ricotta, lemon juice, basil and some black pepper. Serve on toast, with crackers or carrot sticks. Would work well as a school lunch time snack with crudities.
Kids parties can include the old traditional favourites alongside an array of fruits and a bowl of chocolate. Interesting that the kiwi went first during today’s ‘School is Out’ party.
I really love getting kids innovative with food too. One idea which will take up hours of creativity is designing your own gingerbread house. Baking the gingerbread then working out how to construct, stick it together and decorating it can offer hours of fun.
This is what Christmas is all about. Fun, creativity, time well spent with family.