JanOne with a Difference: Christmas Treats and Meals for kids
So, I’m not sure if I’m the only one being hassled for an ice block or sugary treat every afternoon at the moment?
My girls seem to have cottoned on to the marketed feeding frenzy that can be Christmas time, I don’t suppose this is helped by lots of prize giving parties, end of school shared lunches and family or friend get-togethers. Whereas these are all a wonderful celebration of the season and the year’s accomplishments, the kinds of foods offered at many of these can at times leave a lot to be desired. Here are some quick and easy tips and alternatives to take to celebrations or gatherings or to incorporate into your children’s meal time routines:
- A humble platter of carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, combined with avocado and cherry tomatoes, or even some fresh peas in the pod, along with hummus or suitable dip
- A mammoth seasonal fruit display with gorgeous bright colours – cherries, strawberries, pineapple, nectarines, peaches (for those of us in summer, of course)
- Fruit kebab sticks using seasonal fresh fruits (kids LOVE these and they don’t have to contain lollies!)
- Home-made ice blocks using fruit especially berries or pineapple and mango or try a base of coconut milk for a nourishing ‘pseudo-ice cream’ effect. I sometimes freeze our morning green smoothie, my girls love having these in the afternoon when it is hot and muggy! From time to time, I add spirulina for an extra green kick and they don’t mind at all J This is a great way to treat children as the treat is pure and natural, without chemicals and made by you… or them!
- Bliss balls as a heavenly treat – check out Tracey’s Supreme Bliss Ball recipe free on our website. This is a staple lunchbox item in our household and my girls call them “chocolate balls” yum!
- Investigate homemade plant-based cakes, biscuits and desserts or stay in touch via our blog and facebook page for free recipes
- Try making your own raw chocolate delights using cacao – ranging from smoothies to decadent desserts – who doesn’t love chocolate?
- Try making a dairy free ice cream using cashew nuts, avocado or coconut milk as the base.
- Involve your children with making new treats – get them to try, taste and experience! The more involved they are in the process, the more open they are to experimenting!
- New dietary additions can take some time to win kids over – try not to always expect them to like something straightaway. It takes a bit of patience but exposure time and time again does work!
Like yourselves, the advice for your children’s diet remains the same. Treat a treat like it should be – something occasional, not daily. Try to avoid a plummet in routine – kids need lots of veggies to fuel their seemingly limitless energy and if they’re eating a diet rich in plant-based foods such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, plus some grains and pulses, then you’re providing them with a healthy platform to grow up happy, healthy and bright as buttons! Often I feel that we overthink children’s meals – mine are typically very happy with a picnic-style veggie feast consisting of 5-8 veggies from beans to peas to carrots and anything in-between, along with some brown or yellow rice or an egg. Quick and easy, yet nutritious – our kind of meal Decorating the plate for younger children is also a guaranteed hit if you have a creative edge (or not)!
Happy parenting these holidays – stay safe and give lots of hugs for special treats (instead of sugar),