Healthy Holidays

Holidays are the time for relaxed schedules, and relaxed rules – no need to have lunchboxes made, bags packed, or afternoons crammed with after school sports and activities. But sometimes with this relaxed season brings an increase in less healthy behaviours in our little ones, whether that be more time on electronic devices or an increased intake in ‘special holiday foods’. While we do want everyone to enjoy their well-deserved break, we have a few tips to help maintain a healthy balance in our holidays:

  • Include at least one outdoor activity each day, whether this be in your own backyard, down at the park or a trip to the beach. Get the whole family involved in some physical activity each day. 


  • Aim to follow the national guidelines for screen time:
    • no screen time for children younger than two years
    • no more than one hour per day for children aged 2–5 years
    • no more than two hours of sedentary recreational screen time per day for children and young people aged 5–17 years (not including schoolwork)


  • Aim to stick to regular meal/snack times instead of having an open pantry all day. While I know you may not want to hear this, packing lunch boxes can be a helpful way to keep kids out of the fridge and cupboard all day. It is also great way to avoid buying food (often treat foods) when you are out for activities during the day. 


  • Keep main meals as healthy as possible (for example, avoid having Coco Pops for breakfast as a holiday treat) and save ‘treat’ foods for special occasions such as going to the beach, going to the park, catching up with friends, going to the movies etc. 


  • Keep fluids as mostly water (and milk) and avoid keeping soft drink and fruit juice in the house. 


Written by Madelin Jeffs APD
Paediatric Dietitian for Way of Life Nutrition

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