Stepping into Science – H for Holidays

4 min read

Stepping Into Science is a series where we explore exciting science concepts from A-Z. There will also be activity ideas accompanying each post to extend your child’s learning.

Is there a favourite holiday treat that you have? Every time the festive bells ring, I would often look forward to the yummy holiday treats that add joy to the celebration! Not to forget the times I get to spend with my loved ones, feasting with them allows us to bond and update each other on our lives. However, we may often find ourselves feeling guilty after we allow our children to indulge in all that’s on the dinner table. Fear not, let the feelings of guilt take a backseat as we adopt the following healthy eating habits! 

Don’t start with zero 

Firstly, remember not to turn up at parties with an empty stomach. It is important to have some food before heading out so that we do not overeat from hunger.

Eating something light beforehand can prevent your child from overeating at gatherings

Pick your favourites

Allow children to pick from their favourite holiday treats out of the dessert spread first and return to their seats. This prevents them from overeating sweet, calorie-rich desserts. It will be even better if you can invite your children to shortlist some of their favourite treats before the visit!

Prioritising a few favourite treats can help to limit your child’s calorie intake during the festive period

Slow and steady ‘wins’ the race  

Did you know? Our body takes about 20 minutes to process that we are full. Thus, we can enjoy eating the food with our loved ones slowly to give our stomach time to signal our brain that we are comfortably full. 

Encouraging your child to take sips of water between bites can slow down the eating process and prevent overeating

Portion your plate and look out for healthier choices

Remember to portion half of your (and your child’s) plate to fruits and vegetables. These food items contain fibre that keeps us full, preventing us from overeating. 

Remember to fill half of your child’s plate with fruits and vegetables!

You should also choose options with the healthier choice symbol you’re your child where possible. For example, removing fats and skin from meat, choosing food with healthier preparation methods (e.g. stir-fried, steamed, grilled, boiled), and skipping the whipped cream and rainbow chocolate sprinkles help too!

Create your own fruity holiday treat! 

We can also make healthy holiday treats with fruits and low-calorie snacks. Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which are nutritious for our bodies. 

Get creative and make holiday treats of different shapes and sizes to welcome the holidays!

Some inspiration for healthy treats this holiday season

Guilt can take a backseat this holiday period

Healthy eating habits during the holidays can help your children to be more conscious of what and how much they eat.  You can encourage your child to exercise to burn off excess calories and have enough sleep to minimise cravings for high-fat and high-sugar food items. Spending more time enjoying the conversation with our loved ones can also help us to eat slowly and allow the body to signal that we are full, reducing overeating. Happy dining over the holidays! 

Written by Lim Kah Suan
Illustrated by Chua Jia Qi


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