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How to Feed your Child at Holiday Parties and Vacations

Often parents get stressed over holiday meals, parties and vacations. It doesn’t matter if you have been using the Division of Responsibility (sDOR) comfortably for a while or if you are new to using the model, holidays and vacations regularly evoke panic. Don’t be hard on yourself. You are in good company!



One of the biggest worries parents tend to have over holiday parties and vacations is the abundance of food that is available, especially sweet foods or foods parents feel are “forbidden or occasional” foods. The anxiety and worries seem to go up exponentially the more types of these foods that are available.


Take a deep breath.


In sDOR, the parental responsibility lies with providing the food, the location and timing. If you are going to a party or a breakfast buffet, or whatever the venue, you as the parent are making the choice of venue and food (the offering at that venue) as well as the timing. You are completing your responsibility. What your child decides to eat and how much is up to the child.


The big difference that parents often have difficulties with is that you have the array of “forbidden or occasional” foods which in the family meal setting is usually limited to one portion. This is one time I recommend to not hold to that one portion.


How do you decide between the Christmas cakes, cookies, pies, chocolates and candies? Do you hold yourself to one portion? Likely not.


Allow this to be a mix of the unlimited snacks (which is usually the time you allow unlimited “forbidden or occasional” foods) and mealtime. Your child may have a meal of cake, cookies, and candies. I know my child has had a meal of marshmallows before. He has also had a meal of cookies and a meal of chocolate cake.


Take a deep breath and enjoy.


Enjoy the holiday spirit, the yummy food, and the company of friends and family. This is one meal of your child’s life which may be a memory for the rest of their life. Let it be a positive one. You can get back to offering the foods you want at the next meal. J


On behalf of Simply Nutrition, wishing you and your family happy, enjoyable mealtimes this holiday season and always.

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