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9 useful tips from dietitian to properly organize children's nutrition during holidays

9 useful tips from dietitian to properly organize children's nutrition during holidays Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

How to organize a child's nutrition during vacation is often subject to change as their regular schedule is disrupted. However, despite this, the diet should be balanced - containing sufficient vitamins and minerals to ensure the child has energy for active leisure and can then return to studying.

Nutritionist Oleg Shvets on Facebook explains how to organize a child's nutrition during the holidays.

What should be the children's diet during the holidays?

"The children's diet during the holidays undergoes significant changes in meal schedules and daily menu content. And it's natural. A break from the school routine is important, but healthy food choices should still be maintained, considering their exceptional importance for health," says the dietitian.

The doctor shares tips on how to properly organize a child's nutrition during the holidays.

Adjust your daily routine

Parents also deserve a break from constant meal preparation and a strict schedule. Abandoning all standards will only end in catastrophe since excessive consumption of unhealthy food among children leads to bad moods and behavior.

"Create your holiday meal schedule. A fixed mealtime works best as children love routine, which gives them a sense of security. Rules might include, for example, the kitchen not operating at specific times or older children preparing their lunch," says Shvets.

Start the day with a nutritious breakfast

Whole grain and protein-rich dishes in the morning provide better satiety, concentration, mood, and energy. Good options include eggs, porridge, or avocado toast. Try to avoid sugary porridge/honey, white bread sandwiches, sausages, or processed cheese.

Use lunchboxes

Offering food around the clock can be exhausting, so sometimes parents prefer to prepare a lunchbox and a bottle of drink similar to those at school. It gives children independence; when they're hungry, they can eat without involving adults. However, the meals in the lunchbox should ensure the necessary quantity, variety, and quality of food.

Enjoy healthy eating as a family

"Research shows that having meals together at the dinner table improves family and social ties. Use this opportunity for important conversations and decision-making. Moreover, at this time, parents can set a good example of healthy eating for their children," notes the dietitian.

Involve the child in cooking

Cooking together dispels boredom and yields excellent results. You can start with delicious homemade baking. As children grow, they can be encouraged to independently prepare their favorite or new dishes following a recipe.

"Growing green onions or more trendy microgreens is another holiday activity that can attract schoolchildren to healthy eating. If your children are active on social media or create TikTok videos, the theme of purchasing, growing, and cooking food can inspire them to explore new creative directions," says the doctor.

Make food entertaining

Let children help prepare dinner, choose components for the desired dish, or cut them into pieces. This makes the mealtime process more interesting for them.

You can also serve dishes with plenty of colorful plates. Children can create a picture on a plate using the ingredients.

Provide healthy snacks

"During the holidays, many different tasty treats are prepared. It's worth avoiding sweet drinks, lollipops, candies, or fried foods as much as possible since they lack the desired nutritional value but contain lots of sugar, fat, and additives," advises Shvets.

Such products do not improve children's well-being; they lead to bad behavior and subsequently cause illnesses.

Organize snacks during walks

If you're going ice skating, to the park, or for a city walk, prepare food in advance. This way, you can avoid visiting fast food places and save money. Sandwiches, vegetable sticks, crackers with cheese, boiled eggs are options to feed children during an impromptu picnic.

"Monitor water intake. Children often forget to drink, especially when they're busy playing. This can affect their energy and mood, so encourage them to drink water more often," says the dietitian.

Allow yourself to rest

Parents also deserve free time, and there's no need to blame oneself for taking a break from the kitchen. Instead, consider ordering high-quality frozen dishes with good ingredients as a quick and healthy alternative to homemade meals.

Also, read about how to take care of your immunity properly to avoid having to boost it later.