Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

Let’s spread holiday cheer not weight gain fears on to our kids

Is it just me or does it seem like around this time of year almost every month includes some kind of holiday which encourages our families and friends to get together and our grocery stores to be FILLED with aisles and aisles of candy and cake?

Halloween leads into Christmas which leads to New Year’s, then comes Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day. That’s a lot of celebrating and a lot of opportunity to indulge in the types and amounts of food we might usually try to avoid. Along with the overdulging come the inevitable feelings of GUILT it brings and I think it’s time we scratched that part off our holiday To Do lists. Does that mean we should eat until our pants can’t close? Nope. It just means that we have to let ourselves eat the foods we love, enjoy the food we love and then MOVE ON. It’s the guilt that can drive us to eat  more than we even want to. Sometimes we feel like we’ve already ruined our diet so we might as well keep eating..and eating. Other times, it’s the promise to spend EXTRA time at the gym to repent for our food sins that lead us back to the kitchen a few too many times. Food is good. It can however become “less good” when we throw a ton of emotion around it and let our emotions guide how much or how little we eat.

The biggest problem with how distorted our emotions get around food during the holidays is the impact it can have on our kids. It so important that kids learn how to listen to their bodies. It’s all about balance and moderation. They need to learn how to eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’ve had enough. How we act around food and our bodies around our kids will have a huge affect on  their own relationship with food as they get older.

Here are a few DOs and some DON’Ts when it comes to the messages we send to our kids about food during the next few months:

DO remember that while food plays a big role in how we celebrate, the holidays aren’t actually ABOUT food. Remember to focus on spending time with your friends or family.

DON’T make comments like:” I’m gonna wear my fat pants tonight!” Seems harmless but our kids might get the message that overeating is expected when they should always be listening to their body’s natural hunger cues.

DO get physical during the day: Is a big dinner on the agenda? Plan some family activities during the day to balance things out. Keep it simple. Try going for a long walk or taking a trip to the skating arena, for example.

DON’T say: “I’m going to be spending a few extra hours at the gym this week to pay for the damage I just did!”

We really want to stay away from negatives when it comes to how we eat and exercise. Exercise should be something we do because we like our bodies, not what we do to punish them for eating badly.

DO try to find healthier options when possible. That does NOT mean swapping Aunt Helen’s homemade cookies for some “diet” option that will leave you feeling less than satisfied, or nibbling on lettuce leaves all night long. But when given the option, choose more of the items that haven’t been soaked in butter or deep fried in oil and make sure you’re eating your fruits and veggies so they’ll be a little less room for heavier stuff. Demonstrating this kind of eating for your kids will send a healthy message without you having to say a word.

DON’T deprive yourself or your kids. The last thing you want to do is forbid yourself to eat the foods you love, you’ll only set yourself up for overeating them later on. Remember, balance is key. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Honey, one piece of pie is enough, if you eat more you’ll just feel sick later” but you want to avoid things like, ” Pie is so fattening, you should eat an apple instead!” It’s the holidays…live a little.

DO move from the table once the meal is done. If the party is at your house, move to the living room or den. If  your sitting in front of the food it will continue to tempt you..even if you’re full.


DO be as kind and generous with yourself as you are to the guests in your home. Show your kids that holiday feasts are more about creating memories with loved ones than about eating until you burst and then complaining about it afterwards.

What do you think? Does the idea of holiday meals fill you with joy or anxiety?


One Response to 'Let’s spread holiday cheer not weight gain fears on to our kids'

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  1. Sandra said,

    I can thankfully say that this holiday season will be different from last years. A lot less anxiety…. about food anyways 😉

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