top of page

Smart Eating Strategies for Kids During the Holidays

Ivana Baumgarten, M.D., Board-Certified Pediatrician WNCCHS —McDowell Health Center, WNCCHS —Minnie Jones Health Center & WNCCHS —Hominy Valley Health Center

The holiday season brings cheer, family, and lots of delicious treats! It's a time for celebration, but parents may worry about their kids' nutrition amidst all the sweets and rich foods.

But fret not! You can help your little ones make smarter food choices while still enjoying the festivities. WNCCHS Pediatrician Ivana Baumgarten, M.D., shares some practical tips to make navigating holiday parties a breeze:

1. Lead by Example: Kids are observant! Show them the way by loading your own plate with veggies, fruits, and healthier options. When they see you making nutritious choices, they're more likely to follow suit.

2. Prioritize Portions: Encourage your kids to fill up on healthier options first. This could mean having a small plate of veggies or a fruit salad before diving into the desserts. This way, they'll feel less tempted to overindulge in less healthy options.

3. Engage and Educate: Use this opportunity to teach your kids about balanced eating. Explain how too many sweets might make them feel yucky afterward or how veggies can give them energy for all those holiday activities.

4. Bring a Healthy Fave: If you're attending a potluck, bring along a healthier dish your kids love. This ensures there's at least one nutritious option on the table that your child enjoys.

5. Timing is Everything: Try not to arrive at parties with a hungry kiddo. A small snack beforehand can help curb their hunger, making them less likely to dive headfirst into the sweets upon arrival.

6. Encourage Moderation, Not Deprivation: Let your kids know it's okay to enjoy treats in moderation. Instead of saying "No," teach them to savor and enjoy small portions mindfully.

7. Stay Hydrated: Often, thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Keep water readily available and encourage your kids to stay hydrated throughout the festivities.

8. Be a Food Detective: Help your kids understand food labels and ingredients. Show them how to identify healthier options by looking for lower sugar or whole grain items.

Remember, it's all about balance! Emphasize the joy of the holidays while instilling smart eating habits that will serve your kids well beyond the season.

Don't forget, these are general tips and might not fit every situation. Always consult your pediatrician for personalized advice tailored to your child's specific needs.

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and delicious holiday season!

Call (828) 285-0622 to Make an Appointment with Dr. Ivana Baumgarten, WNCCHS Pediatrician. Visit to learn more.



bottom of page