December 13, 2018

5 Tips for a Fun & Healthy Winter Break

This post is part of our #HealthyHolidays blog series, highlighting healthy ways to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season at home, school, and work. View all posts in the series here.

The holiday season often means a break from the usual school day routine. Rather than let healthy habits slide, embrace the extra time together and the abundance of seasonal activities to practice healthy habits at home and in out-of-school time settings. Try these 5 simple strategies to keep everyone moving, eating healthy, and learning during the holiday break. 


1. Offer healthy snacks

Encourage healthy eating during the holiday season by offering healthy snack options, like low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, and sliced vegetables. Nutritious snacks will keep everyone feeling energized between meals and help limit the temptation to snack on holiday sweets.  


2. Continue learning beyond the classroom  

School may be closed, but the learning can continue! Plan an outing to a local museum, library, science center, or theater during the break to learn about a new topic together as a family or group. Many places even offer free or discounted admission during the holiday season for families and out-of-school time programs. 


3. Explore the outdoors   

Don’t let the cold weather keep you inside! This winter break, bundle up and head outside for an active group activity. Go for a “holiday lights walk” around the neighborhood or try a new hiking trail at a local nature preserve. If there’s snow, work together to build a snowman or go sledding in a hilly park.  


4. Make a meal together 

Cooking is a great way to practice math and motor skills, while also learning about nutrition and healthy eating. Invite your kids or program participants to help prepare a healthy holiday meal or snack for a memorable (and delicious) winter break activity. Need some recipe inspiration? Visit the Smart Food Planner for healthy recipes everyone will love. Be sure to share a photo of your dish on social media with the hashtag #HealthyHolidays!  


5. Give back 

Volunteering is a great way for kids to get in the holiday spirit and practice skills like teamwork and empathy. Work together to identify a few volunteer events happening in your community during the school break and then vote on which one(s) to attend. The kids will enjoy the opportunity to give back to others and your community will benefit from your acts of service. 


What other ideas do you have for a fun and healthy winter break with kids? Share your tips and photos using #HealthyHolidays