Christmas and school holidays
It’s not called the silly season for nothing! Here are some ideas to get a bit of healthy balance back into the Christmas / New Year period for the whole family.
With more time at home, it can be a challenge to keep a routine going. Some great ways to keep children entertained (without breaking the bank) include:
- A daily walk or simple exercise routine (like the Fitness session many schools do at the start of the day).
- Dancing to your favourite music. Children can work on developing a dance routine.
- Visit your local library. Many also run holiday reading programmes that you can sign up to. Borrow some recipe books to try out. How about aiming to try one new recipe (that you’ve never tried before) a week? If you pick the recipe before you go grocery shopping, you can make sure you’ve got all of the ingredients you need.
- Visit the local playground to burn some energy.
- Spend a day at the beach. As well as swimming, you could pack a Frisbee, beach cricket, petanque. With a bit of planning it’s a great opportunity to pack a healthy picnic lunch.
- Many local councils have free outdoor events in summer – such as concerts or outdoor cinemas. Check out your council’s website for details. You can also search for free events on websites such as www.eventfinda.co.nz
- Teaching children how to cook is an awesome and rewarding life skill to have. Even if you aren’t that confident in the kitchen, it’s something you can practice together. You could watch videos online (including ours here) which show how to follow cooking instructions. See our tip on children in the kitchen for ideas of what skills are handy to learn.
Healthy Ideas for:
Decorations: popcorn garlands.
Advent calendars: kids can make their own advent calendar with pockets or flaps that reveal a picture, note or non-food treat. Or you can set up a reverse advent calendar. Collect a food item each day (perhaps label it with the day’s number), and donate the whole collection to a food bank.
Shared lunches (at school or work): check out Pinterest for some great Christmas themed creations made of fruit, or Reindeer pretzels. Or our website is packed full of healthy recipe ideas.
Edible gifts: our Chocolate, fruit and nut truffles.
Gifts for children: sports equipment gives kids the chance to be active. For example handball, Frisbee, scooter, bike, soccer/net/rugby ball.
Food for Christmas Day
If you “bring a plate” for Christmas day, plan with others about what to bring. You can then make sure there’ll be enough fruit and vegetable-based items.
Include seasonal salads such as a leafy green salad, a bean/rice salad or a potato salad.
Desserts can be as simple as fresh fruit. You can come up with some amazing creations in Christmas shapes with a variety of fruit pieces. Dessert is also a great chance to include dairy such as natural yoghurt.