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thanksgivingkidThe holiday season brings a lot of fun, but can be stressful at times. Try focusing on seeing things through your child’s eyes. Chances are the traditions and memories you make are what children will grow up to remember, not the gifts or fancy meals.

For starters, think about ways to minimize the stress.  Stay on track by planning ahead. Make a list of what must get done and set realistic goals for the days leading up the holidays. And don’t do it alone!  Children can be great holiday helpers. Whether it’s with decorating or helping in the kitchen, preparing for the holidays together keeps everyone involved, happy and having fun!

Budgets can be tight during the holiday season. Think about homemade gifts for your friends and family. They are much more heartfelt and thoughtful than a toy or sweater. Here are a few examples!

  1. For friends and family members, create bread, soup or cookie mixes in a jar. Measure out the dry ingredients of a recipe. Layer the ingredients in a mason jar and tie a ribbon to the top of the jar with instructions for making the bread, soup or cookies.
  2. For kids, make a snowman-in-a-box. Place items in the box such as buttons for eyes, a carrot for the nose, and fleece fabric for the scarf. Then, go outside and make a snowman together!
  3. Make bean bags for the kids. Use a variety of textures and colors for the fabric and cut out squares. Put two squares together and stitch around three sides. Fill with your choice of filling (cotton or dried beans could work), and sew up the fourth side. As an optional step, stitch around the entire beanbag for a more professional look and reinforced finishing. The bean bags could come in handy for indoor games this winter.

Planning your meals for the holidays? You don’t have to throw good nutrition out the window during the holiday season!  Whether you are hosting the holiday or attending a party, try to prepare at least one healthy dish so you know that there will be smart options to choose from when it’s party time. Use fruits that are in season this winter, such as apricots, pears, kiwis, and tangerines. A well-prepared vegetable salad is full of nutrients and can be a part of any holiday meal. Top your winter greens with dried cranberries, walnuts, and crumbled cheese—you’ll be packing your dish with flavor and good nutrition! Fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually cheaper or on sale.

What are some of your family traditions? Or, do you plan to start a new one this year? Let us know!

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