Like most parents, Sarah Aitchison knows the lure of sugar around Christmas time – and with the onslaught of everything from gifts to lunches, dinners and end-of-year parties, it’s nearly unavoidable. That’s what inspired her to make a new holiday tradition that won’t break her family’s health goals.
Every year at Christmas time, the mum-of-two packs the kids up for a camping trip – she says the benefits are twofold.
“For the past 5 years, I’ve taken my boys camping out in the countryside for Christmas,” Sarah says. “They look forward to it and I know they won’t be eating sweets all holidays. It also gives them a chance to get out in nature instead of staring at a screen.”
Sarah says it’s not about enforcing restrictions, but rather appreciating some bonding time with family.
“My advice for other parents is to just have fun with it, you don’t have to ban sweets and have a boring Christmas, focus on some exciting things you can do with your kids,” she says, adding, “My boys genuinely enjoy our trips, they’re the ones asking me when we’re leaving.”
As a result, the Aussie mum says her kids are no longer obsessed with sugary foods.
“Since we’ve started taking these trips, they don’t notice the cake shops as much as they used to when we're out, when they're at a birthday party, they’ll often eat a piece of fruit instead of the lollies, so they’re making mature decisions on their own,” Sarah says.
“I’ve started placing a lot of significance and value on fulfilling activities over junk food, when I reward them, we go out for a hike or to the beach or play their favourite game.”
Taking trips out to nature – from national parks to mountains, rivers and bush regions – is a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life, and enjoy the added bonus of putting a bit of distance between your family and the slew of sugary Christmas parties on the horizon. But we’ve got a few other handy tricks to have up your sleeve this festive season.
Instead of buying or making the traditional sugar-laden fare this Christmas, make your own renditions that are as tasty as they are nutritious – it’s possible, we swear! You can still enjoy all those nostalgic festive foods, from roasts and bakes to cakes, drinks and snacks this holiday season – that’s what we’re here for! In fact, we released our Holiday Entertaining Guidefor this very purpose. It’s loaded with recipes for delicious desserts and comforting, traditional meals to line the table with for all your upcoming events and functions. So, you can maintain your healthy habits and still enjoy mouth-watering food at the same time. We swear, they’re not mutually exclusive!
Check out our eBook HERE. It’s loaded with 51 fun recipes that transport you back to those childhood family feasts – minus the sugar crash, of course! We've got mains, sides, desserts and festive drinks to mark the occasion.
Stick to the whole foods
To ensure you’re not getting slipped any unexpected doses of added sugars and preservatives, your best bet is to go for the salads, homemade veggie or pasta bakes, fruit salads and cheese platters. Store-bought dishes or frozen meals are often loaded with excess salt and sugar, as are supermarket cakes and confectionery that frequently make appearances at Chrissy parties, so opt instead for the homemade varieties with real ingredients.
Get the kids in the kitchen
Make healthy cooking a family affair – when you get the kids involved, not only are you providing free entertainment, but you also show them how simple making nutritious food can be. From setting up the cheese platters to stirring up mocktails and decorating your low-sugar desserts, there are numerous ways to get the kids in the kitchen – and enjoying it.
Focus on the games
Instead of focusing on the food, why not make the entertainment the centre of the party? From backyard cricket to boardgames and card games, the opportunities are endless. The kids will often find themselves having so much fun that they decide not to overindulge on the sweet stuff. Here are a few ideas:
- Backyard cricket
- Hide and seek
- Card games
- Arts and crafts
If you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. With all the festivities on the horizon, it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to JOIN NOW!