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10 EASY Ways to Avoid the Christmas Bulge

The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to enjoy ourselves with family and friends. Healthy habits, which are usually part of a family’s daily routine, can easily fall by the wayside during this period so it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of how to maintain a healthy balance. This will also ensure the family feel energised and ready for the start of a busy New Year.

With the festive season and school holidays come plenty of party invitations and social gatherings. Traditional party food is usually high in energy so try to avoid anyone being ravenous before they go. Have a light snack before heading out such as a small tub of yoghurt, a piece of wholemeal toast with tomato and cheese or a banana.

When it comes to celebrations over lunch or dinner, watch portion sizes as it’s easy to pile your plate high when there are lots of delicious options. If having dessert, consider sharing to halve the energy intake and watch what you drink. Opt for water over soft drinks and fruit juice. Read our 7 Tips to Get your Kids to Drink More Water.


Planning ahead when it comes to meals is just as important during the holidays especially when children are at home and hungry in between meals. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables and have them chopped up ready to go in the fridge. Ready-made snacks from the supermarkets are handy in the holidays, however, always read the nutrition label carefully even if they are from the “health food” aisle.

When offering kids treats in the holidays provide a mix of healthy options alongside traditional favourites such as chocolate or chips. Fresh fruit smoothie popsicles, frozen grapes and strawberries or jelly made with freshly squeezed juice make for healthy sweet treats like these peach & mango frozen yoghurts or these banana berry frozen yoghurt.

Avoid mindless overeating so try to avoid eating in front of screens. When possible, sit down as a family and enjoy a meal together without distraction. When dining out or getting takeaway, consider healthier options such as Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine or go for thin crust pizzas and tomato based pasta sauces.

Lastly, when it comes to screen time, ensure there are some limits even if it is the holidays. Luckily the festive season in Australia is a warm one making it easy to be active outdoors as a family. Whether it’s cooling off at the beach or pool, going for an early morning bike ride or late afternoon stroll, there are plenty of reasons to get off the couch, get active and stay healthy.

Top 10 reminders

  1. Avoid going hungry to parties.
  2. Watch portion sizes.
  3. Plan ahead.
  4. Eat with all of your senses.
  5. Get outdoors and get active as a family
  6. Read nutrition labels on snack foods carefully
  7. Choose healthy treats and snacks.
  8. Drink MORE!! Choose water over soft drink and juice.
  9. Opt for healthy takeaway options.
  10. Don’t let screen time get out of control

PEACH™ program

PEACH™ stands for Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health. It is a free 6-month program that promotes healthy weight in children and takes a family-focused approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle. It is funded by the Queensland Government and delivered by the Queensland University of Technology. Families with a child aged between 5-11 years who is above a healthy weight are eligible to enrol. Register now by calling 1800 263 519 or www.peachqld.com.au

Looking for healthy activities for kids in Brisbane?

Here’s a few ideas to help shape your child’s relationship with food, and to get them active this weekend!

This article was published in Issue 7 of our print magazine, December 2014/January 2015.

Cedar_Creek_SamfordDay trips to Cedar Creek

Two girls picking strawberries on a farm near brisbanePick your own strawberries

malenyTour Maleny Dairies

Indoor rock climbing in Brisbane for kids and teenagersRock Climbing for Kids

Kindergym Sandgate BrisbaneKindergym for toddlers

GeocachingBrisbaneGeocaching – they won’t believe it’s actually hiking!

It’s not just about being healthy this festive season, here’s our top resources for when you’re not feeling so great:

Need a late night chemist near another location?

Late Night Chemists Near Me: Brisbane NorthLate Night Doctor Services in Brisbane 

Late Night Chemists Near Me:  Brisbane South | Late Night Chemists Near Me: Gold Coast

Late Night Chemists Near Me: Sunshine Coast

Note: Pharmacies in shopping centres are often open late on Thursday evenings, even if they close early on every other day.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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