Try to maintain a sense of normalcy over winter break.
It’s easy to set aside healthy habits during the holidays, but those who stick with them will likely enjoy their celebrations more. Children do best when they are operating on a set routine, and parents should make an effort to help them maintain it, according to experts at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
It’s OK to extend bedtime once or twice, but not more than two nights in a row, they advise. They also suggest sticking with the routine—stories, bath, etc.—because that will help children settle down and fall asleep easier.
Parents also should be wary of extending screen time or letting children play on new electronics right up until bedtime, because using them right before settling down for the night can disrupt sleep patterns.
It’s also useful to ensure that kids are eating healthy at holiday parties. Parents should set a good example and not overindulge, according to the Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. Dietitian Megan Barna suggests bringing healthy foods to potlucks to guarantee that there will be good options for kids. She also recommends reminding them that the focus of holiday gatherings should be enjoying family and festivities rather than food.
For a complete list of tips, go to childrensnational.org/news-and-events/our-blogs/parenting-blog/2013/december/10-tips-to-keep-your-family-healthy-during-holiday-festivities.