With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday season can be filled with desserts and calorie laden dishes. It may seem challenging to make healthy choices, especially for children. Here are a few tips to help keep you and your family happy and healthy during the holidays:

Fruity treats

Always keep a bowl of fresh, seasonal fruit at out at eye level so kids can easily grab a healthy snack! Crisp apples, sweet pears or small tangy clementines are widely available during this season. Instead of pie, try a delicious baked pear topped with pecans, dried cranberries, and a drizzle of real maple syrup!

Keep it colorful

Fill half of your family's plate with delicious vegetables and fruits! Try roasting carrots in the oven to bring out their sweet flavor or lightly sautéing green beans and top with toasted almond slivers for lighter side dishes.

Go whole grain

Swap out white, refined bread or rolls for varieties made with whole wheat flour for more fiber to help keep those little ones satisfied. For stuffing, swap out white bread for a hearty whole grain bread which adds a nutty flavor.

Baking swaps

Use recipes with pureed fruits like applesauce or mashed bananas instead of butter or oil. Out of eggs? Try using ground flax seed instead! Mix one tablespoon of ground flax seed with 2 ½ tablespoons of water for every egg. Let sit for 5 minutes until it becomes gel-like. This works best in breads or hearty baked goods like pumpkin breads.

Get kids cooking!

Kids involved in meal preparation are more likely to try new foods.

  • 5 and 6-years-olds can stir cold mixtures, prepare lettuce, or press cookie cutters

  • 7 and 8-year-olds can rinse veggies, whisk eggs, and measure ingredients

  • 9 and 10-year-olds can stir mixtures, use a toaster oven, or cut foods with a kid-safe plastic knife

  • Kids 10 years and older can slice or chop ingredients, microwave foods, or simmer ingredients on the stove with adult supervision

Hope these tips with make for a healthier holiday season for you and your family this year!