This post is done is cooperation with Stonyfield, which I’m proud to tell you about as a #StonyfieldBlogger!
Our family has crammed in no fewer than eight special holiday events in the past two weeks! Can you relate?
At most of these events, my daughters were singing. Lots of proud moments were involved, like when my youngest sang her first solo in the church Christmas program! She’s also earned a spot this year in another special children’s choir, so she sang and danced complete with red sequins and cane! Her older sister continues shining as a vocalist too, while she’s spreading her wings to try other activities.
The performance education is wonderful, but I’m glad my children are also into music just for the fun of it. Otherwise, seasons like this end up being a series of stressful commutes from one event to another. We ended last evening all three singing Jingle Bell Rock at the top of our lungs and laughing in the kitchen! That’s how I want them to feel about music.
In making sure that a part of their Advent season and winter break is just relaxing fun, I drove the girls to a local Christmas parade a few days ago, where the big attraction for them was all the candy that would be handed out! To top it off, it’s hot cocoa season, and who can say no to that?
What’s a mom to do when school, church and more activities keep us on the go AND my kids are constantly enticed by sugary treats? Yes, I’m working on enticing them with fun foods at home that are savory instead of sweet, like these mouth watering appetizers found on the Stonyfield recipe page. I also let them indulge a little at times like the Christmas parade, although we have a system in place where I buy back certain artificially colored candies from them any time of the year.
On the go this winter, these kids are always saying they’re hungry, even if they had a meal at home. So, the challenge for me is to keep them interested in a variety of real foods from organic apple slices to crackers to organic YoKids Squeeze! packs of organic yogurt! They recently tried the Blueberry Blitz, which I found in a four-pack. Each pouch contains 110 calories, 17 carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein and 14 grams of a combination of organic sugar and the sugars that occur naturally in the organic reduced fat milk. I appreciate how the 5 live active cultures in the yogurt can help promote gut health and immunity in a season when most of the highly processed festive foods are jeopardizing their immunity. Of course, since they’re certified USDA Organic, I get the extra assurance of no artificial colors or flavors in the YoKids Squeeze! packs.
How are you surviving the festive but sometimes stressful holiday season? Here are a few food ideas for all of us on the go from one special event to another with young children:
1) Keep a variety of wholesome foods on hand at home, prepping some easy veggies like raw carrots ahead of time. Get in the habit of taking along one raw fruit or vegetable to offer the kids when they’re hungry.
2) Take along fresh water in a reusable stainless steel water bottle for each member of the family, so you won’t be as tempted to drink sugary drinks to quench thirst.
3) Try substituting lighter yogurt for high-fat mayo or sour cream in your favorite holiday recipes. See the convenient Stonyfield substitution guide. If you’re going to have cookies and other baked goods, try making your own instead of buying them ready made, so you know what’s inside. Here’s my recipe for soft squash cookies.
4) For longer outings, take along a small cooler in your vehicle to keep foods like YoKids Squeeze! chilled and ready for snacking.
5) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Decide what balance of real food and festive treats works for your family. Point out to children that certain foods are just for rare occasions and not something we’d eat every day.
6) If it all seems like too much, try scaling back on sugar (which medical professionals tell us reduces natural immunity) and being sure to include probiotics (which medical professionals tell us increase natural immunity) like those found in yogurt.
This post is done in cooperation with Stonyfield, which I’m proud to tell you about as part of the #StonyfieldBlogger ambassador program! This post is not intended to offer any medical, nutritional or other professional advice, but rather to encourage healthy habits for families.