As the days grow shorter and colder and the holiday season approaches, your kids will end up spending more time stuck indoors. And to make matters worse, the holiday season is the time of year when kids eat heavier comfort foods, which makes it that much more difficult to keep them at a healthy weight.

The kids are fighting over the last Christmas cupcake, dad is having coughing fits due to a cold and you are feeling a bit nauseated after that last cup of eggnog. Tis the season to try to beat sickness.

Winter break is just around the corner and the last thing you want are sick kids. While your kids are super excited about being home from school, not having any homework and getting to sleep in, keeping them on a schedule is the first step in keeping them healthy. River Valley Pediatrics, home of your pediatrician in New Braunfels, offers tips to keep your family healthy this holiday season.

Screen Time

During winter break, many kids get into the habit of watching a lot of television or constantly glued to other devices like smartphones and iPads. Limit screen time to just a few hours a day, even when they complain about getting bored.

Studies show that children spend way too much time on electronics, playing on the computer and watching television, as much as 12 hours a day. Cut the amount of time on these devices and substitute that time with other activities in which they need to move around.

Eliminate Anxiety

The holidays can create stress, especially if schedules get all out of whack. This is why it is a good idea to keep a regular schedule, even if your kids are home from school over their winter break.

You can let them sleep in a bit, but get them up at a decent hour in the morning, make them eat breakfast and have activities planned throughout the day to the best of your ability.

Keep Them Active

If there are nice days while on winter break, send the kids outside to play or take them to the park. It is important that they get fresh air and exercise. If the weather does not want to cooperate, find things for them to do indoors. It might even make sense to take them to the rec center to shoot some hoops or to an indoor swimming pool for some swimming.

Focus On Fun

There are so many things to do over the holiday season and not all of them have to do with food. If your kids are busy writing letters to Santa or cleaning out their toy boxes to make room for new things they will get at Christmas, then they are less likely to be eyeballing the cupcakes in the kitchen.

Don’t Skip Meals

It is not a good idea to skip lunch because you are planning a big dinner. Kids and adults need three square meals a day. Skipping a meal can lead to making unhealthy choices and overeating at the next meal.

Make Sure They Get Enough Sleep

A lack of sleep can lead to stress and stress puts a burden on your immune system and leaves you open to sickness. Make sure your kids are going to bed at a decent hour at night.

Health Alternatives

Try changing out some traditional recipes with ones that use better ingredients. It is also quite fine to swap out some treats with fruits to shake things up a bit.

Drink Water

Have your children lay off the soda and fruit juices and encourage them to drink plenty of water over the holiday season. Bring a couple of bottles of water with you when you take the kids with you to run errands.

Healthy Meals

Since this is the time of year kids will be eating holiday treats, make sure your regular meals are a bit healthier than usual. Check your recipes and do some research to discover healthy meals that your kids will enjoy.

Wash Your Hands

Make sure your kids are washing their hands throughout the day. Make sure they wash their hands before sitting down for a meal. You will also want to bring sanitizing wipes with you when you and the kids are out and about buying gifts and doing other errands.

If you have any questions about keeping your kids healthy this holiday season, give River Valley Pediatrics a call.