child at holiday tableThe holiday season often brings joy and celebration, accompanied by delicious treats and feasts. For children, however, it can be a challenging time to maintain healthy eating habits, especially when boredom strikes during the holiday break. To foster a balance between holiday indulgence and nutritional well-being, Dr. Alexis Phillips, a pediatrician at Children’s Memorial Hermann Pediatrics in Atascocita, suggests some practical tips to help kids stay healthy and active.

Keep Kids Busy

Encourage physical activity and creativity to combat boredom-induced eating. Engage kids in fun and active holiday-themed activities to distract from unnecessary snacking. Some ideas include a family jog or bike-ride, a game of flag football or a visit to your neighborhood park.

Maintain a Consistent Schedule

Establish regular mealtimes to prevent constant grazing. Encourage structured meals like breakfast and lunch, with healthy snacks in between. Even though your family may not have a consistent school or work routine during the holidays, both kids and adults should avoid continuous snacking between meals throughout the day.

Limit Sugar Intake

Discourage the consumption of sugary beverages like soda and fruit juices and opt for fresh fruits instead of pre-packaged snacks, which often have hidden sugars inside. Make fruits easily accessible and visible in the fridge and encourage whole foods over processed or packaged foods.

Focus on Hydration

Emphasize the importance of staying hydrated. Sometimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger, leading to unnecessary eating. Encourage kids to drink more water, especially if portion control is a concern.

Make It Fun

Turn healthy eating into an enjoyable and creative experience. Create a charcuterie-style board where kids can assemble their own fruit and veggie combinations. Experiment with festive snacks like banana snowmen (use banana slices for the body, sliced strawberries for hats, and mini dark chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons), fruit skewers or tying string cheese with ribbons for added flair.

Set a Good Example

Adults play a crucial role in influencing children's eating habits. Demonstrate healthy eating practices by maintaining portion control and opting for nutritious choices, and make sure everyone is eating the same meal. Consistency in the family's approach to food will have a positive impact on the children's habits.

Remember, the holidays are a time for celebration and incorporating these tips can help strike a balance between festive enjoyment and promoting a healthy lifestyle for children.

Contact Us

To contact Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.


Thank you for contacting Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. We have received your inquiry, and a team member will contact you soon.

If you need more immediate assistance, please call us at (713) 704-KIDS (5437).