Christmas is a time of indulgence, and while most of us adults know that we need to keep a lid on it or end up paying for it with our waistlines come January, it’s easy to forget that too much of a good thing at Christmas is bad for our children, too.
It would be almost impossible to ban edible Christmas goodies in my house, and I’m sure would result in my being evicted in favour of the chocolates hanging on the tree! So instead of denying any of us the pleasure of treating our taste buds, this year I’m planning on stepping up the exercise to balance it all out. Here are some Christmas health tips for kids :
* Lots of walks in the crisp, Christmas air: if you ask me, there’s nothing nicer and more Christmassy than wrapping up warm and going out for a walk over crunchy ground, taking in the winter foliage and collecting bits of holly or fir cones for a festive table decoration.
* Snowball fights! If we are lucky enough to have a white Christmas, we will burn up a few calories by playing snowballs, building snowmen, and sledging. Even just walking will work up more of a sweat than normal as we trudge through the snow and try to keep our balance on the ice.
* Many cities have temporary outdoor ice-rinks during the festive period, so get online and book your family a session of skating. It’s great fun and some have facilities to push small children round on sleighs, so no-one need miss out.
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If you have young children, you may already know the trials and tribulations that come along with school productions – not just for them, but for us parents, too!
If this Christmas is to be your first nativity experience, you will no doubt be more concerned about your child and their costume than what’s in your own handbag, but it’s a good idea to also be prepared yourself, so here’s our Nativity survival kit for parents to help us all along:
* Tissues – a no-brainer, of course! And take extra for your child or the parent next to you who was not so well prepared!
* Baby wipes – for cleaning faces and costumes, especially if the show is happening after lunch!
* Emergency make-up – for toning down the red eyes and nose before having post-show coffee and mince pies with all the other parents and teachers.
* Camera/camcorder – an essential for the Nativity survival kit for parents, but check whether you are permitted to use it, as some schools and churches don’t allow photographs to be taken.
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If you have small children, child-free Christmas shopping is probably easier said than done, so here are six tips I’ve been given over the years for successful shopping with children:
1. Try to go on a weekday, if possible, when it is less busy than at weekends. Alternatively, go as a family at the weekend so there is another adult to help out and give you some time to browse by yourself while the kids have lunch.
2. Feed them before you go and pack healthy snacks to keep them full and occupied until the next mealtime. This is essential if you don’t want to be dragged in the direction of the café every five minutes, and is especially good for children in pushchairs, who will often be happy to munch on some raisins instead of pulling things off shelves, at least for a few minutes!
3. A key method for successful shopping with children is to take plenty of toys to entertain those who are stuck in prams or pushchairs, or go prepared to buy them something new while you are out, as it will satisfy their need to spend your money while also keeping their interest for longer than a toy they’ve seen before.
4. Make a day of it and be prepared to stop for food and to let toddlers get out and walk around for a while. It’s easier to accept that it will be an all-day affair than to try to fit it all in before lunchtime and ending up coming away hungry and grumpy and with only half of your shopping!
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Sudocrem have got into the Christmas spirit already and we are looking for your best Christmas themed recipes in our Christmas Superchef 2011.
This new cookery competition comes with some fabulous prizes. The grand prize being a 3 day trip to one of France’s top cookery schools for two persons.
All you need to do is ‘Like’ the Sudocrem facebook page and enter competition using the ‘Christmas Superchef 2011’ tab on the left hand side. We want to see the best Christmas recipes so upload your image and add your recipe into the text box.
The entries will be judged by Aggie Mackenzie, one of the hosts from ‘How Clean Is Your House?’. She has also just released a family cook book – ‘Aggie’s Family Cookbook’ .
There are some great runners up prizes too. 2nd place gets a £150 Selfridges Christmas hamper and 3rd place will receive £75 Marks & Spencer’s vouchers.
So get creative in the Kitchen! Remember to take a photo for the competition which ends on 4th January 2012. Hopefully Aggie will take a shine to your creation and crown you the Sudocrem Christmas Superchef 2011!
As Christmas approaches, it’s easy to forgo the healthy habits we’ve spent all year drilling into our kids in the wake of the multitude of sweet things they are surrounded by for most of the festive season. But no-one wants to be the killjoy who puts a ban on chocolate Santas, do they?
So here are a few healthy habits for Christmas so we can keep the kids (and ourselves!) on the straight and narrow from now until January:
* Encourage a taste for seasonal fruit. As a child, I always found the traditional orange and nuts at the bottom of my Christmas stocking (as well as chocolate money, of course!) and it has set up a love of traditional festive foods. Make a point of keeping oranges, dates, nuts and seeds around, and try to swap some of the chocolate for fruit and nut-based recipes with a seasonal twist.
* Try to limit the amount of sugar taken in the form of drinks by offering water, milk or watered-down fruit juice instead of fizzy, sugary drinks.
* Keep confectionary given as presents in a basket to be spread out over the festive period and beyond, rather than being eaten all at once.
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