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We've been asked by the team at Organix to find out your views on food at Christmas.
Are you the sort of parent who allows your children to have more foodie treats at Christmas-time or do you attempt to spread out/avoid the scoffing of selection boxes? What about offering healthy alternatives? Any tips you can share on managing this? What sort of foods have you found work well as healthy alternatives?
If you have a child aged 3 or under, how (if at all) would you adapt your Christmas dinner for them? Do you have any general food tips for Christmas with a little one?
What's your favourite memory of your DCs first Christmas meal?
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Thanks for all the comments: am pleased to say WowOoo wins the £50 Love2Shop voucher. Well done!
Ds is 18 months so he will just be having Christmas dinner like everyone else, minus the salt of course.
I will be giving him a few treats and he has a tiny milkybar egg thing from santa, mainly because his older sister will be getting one and will be confused if ds doesn't! But I do try to offer healthy snacks over Christmas too.
This year is our first Xmas with our baby. We won't be adapting our meal. Just mashing it up for him to enjoy too. I can imagine in the future we will let him have more treats at Christmas to help make it feel special. We don't get much chance to indulge the rest of the year so he will need something to look forward to!
We have never adapted any meals for our DC. Generally christmas dinner is just a normal sunday roast so they're used to it anyway.
I do find that there are a lot of extra treats available at christmas but that's usually just because the DC see more family at this time of year and so many of them think that the only possible thing they can give a child is chocolate. I do try to make sure they're not having too much but generally, the older DC know their limits anyway. (DD2 (1) however needs more watching as she would eat anything and everything!)
DC are 2 and 1, so probably not too many selection boxes around - will make sure there are some healthy snacks in for them to nibble while I devour chocolate! They are allowed a bit of chocolate - and they love satsumas!
We won't give them gravy, but otherwise, they'll get the same Christmas dinner as us. DS will eat it with his fingers...
Loved seeing DD at the table with everyone, and excited that this year DS will be able to join us too.
DS will be 1 by Christmas Day - I'm so excited about seeing him at the table eating Christmas dinner! I will ask if no salt can be added to veg but that's it. We don't eat turkey so he'll just have the veg.
I'll let him try some Christmas pud but I don't think he'll like it... I might give him his first taste of chocolate though.
The children eat more treats on Christmas day, there's no point trying to completely stop them. If I think they've really had too much then the sweets and chocolate just get put away for a while. Out of sight is out of mind, they (and I ) definitely eat less rubbish if it's not right there in front of them. having tasty fruit especially tangerines around does mean your more inclined to snack on that than on Mince pies.
Christmas dinner is suitable for the whole family. When DDs were very small it was just the meat and veg puree'd up.
My favourite memory is them both wearing the Christmas bib. It's a sleeved bib that looks like a santa suit. Because it's only been worn a couple of times by each child they could both wear it when they were babies. Very cute. I love the photo's of their first Christmas Dinners.
As many have said the food would be the same, just chopped or mashed for ease the smaller they get.
I like that now we have kids we can adapt Christmas to suit ourselves and have a great excuse to stay in PJs, open presents messily and noisily in the morning, and have roast beef instead of turkey!!!
Another one not adapting the dinner for my LO aged under three years. She will eat the same as the rest of us.
I do struggle with the treats this time of year. Not so much on the day (not bothered about one day) but throughout Dec. I keep telling myself it evens out over the year. Choc/biscuits/cakes are just everywhere.
I can't say about memories. Christmas is always tricky as it is a family time and we don't have DD1 with us. I am feeling better in terms of engaging with it this year but it is always so bittersweet.
I have two children in that bracket. I've done BLW from the start so other than not cooking with salt, I don't change much. Roast potatoes don't work quite so well without salt on them, but I can add some at the table.
In terms of general food tips, I think not being too worried about food over Christmas is important. It is all a bit exciting for them, food is at all the 'wrong' times, but don't fret too much about what is being eaten or not eaten. It is one day and it will all be fine!
Christmas is about sharing the same meal (minus the salt for DDs) and having treats we do not have on a daily basis. A few biscuits and chocolates will be fine for us on this particular day (although I would try and limit any sweets given as presents as they offer nothing nutritionally). I look forward DD2's first Christmas and I have fond memories of DD1's first Christmas, all dressed in a little Santa costume and tucking into her roast.
My daughter is a good eater so usually eats everything that is served up on Christmas Day.
I do allow more treats, but stick to the you need to eat x more spoonfuls before you can have pudding rule that we have every other day of the year!!
I don't like the way this is worded, are you the sort of parent who... It comes across as judgmental.
We do allow our son occasional treats. He's very good at eating his fruit, dairy, and grains/carbs and will often choose the fruit over a biscuit. We're not concerned about healthy alternatives as he eats quite well.
Christmas dinner will be same for him, under 3, as for the rest of the family. He'll be able to eat what he likes.
given that we still have easter eggs and they have not finished the gold coins from 2 years ago and there is still chocolate in last years advent calendar...
however, he does get one jellybaby for sleeping in his room. it is followed by a crumpet or toast or hotcross bun and banana as a snack after school.
chocolate, jelly babies and computer time are his currency. (which is why chocolate is a rare treat)
Mostly we don't do anything differently. We don't adapt the food, except that if there's something we know someone doesn't like (eg Cmas pudding) we provide an equally festive alternative. There are more treats, but they are eaten in the same way as usual: mostly as puddings.
Just to add, I avoid treating foods as treats or punishments because it sets children up as emotional eaters.
No child under three but Christmas is the one time of year to forget sugar worries and enjoy what ever is your 'treat'
Under 3yo gets everything in a traditional Christmas dinner, but avoiding chipolata sausages with bacon (due to nitrates and salt.) No extra treats, sane reason as every other day, I don't like the effect that refined sugar has on him.
DS will be 23 months this Christmas and he will have a normal dinner like everyone else. He will probably have the veggie pie instead of the turkey because he doesn't really like meat though.
He will have a bit more chocolate than usual, but not much more because he isn't too keen on it, he prefers crisps and biscuits.
i think you have to know your child and the situation surrounding them and food.some can stop some will eat choc till their sick and i like to think the parents can teach them how to manage this time of year.
treats are a must.its chrismtas.they dont do this all year round so let them go have some choc filled fun.
dont adapt meals its only start presedint for everything.its a larger version of a roast dinner at the end of the ay what could be better!!
we would only cut it smaller or more managble for the,.they love it anyways.
I don't think there's ever been an issue with our DCs and the Christmas lunch. When they were toddlers they ate loads of turkey, yorkshire puds and veggies...now they eat everthing.....It's one of the few meals there were never foodie issues with!
If treats are on offer i let ds 13m try a bit, but that's a general rule not specific to Christmas. He reacts to caffeine in breast milk still so won't be having chocolate for a long time yet.
He'll eat what we eat, i don't know why you'd need to adapt the food? Timings yes, he eats at 4:30 for a 6:00 bedtime. But the actual food, no. Just leave off the gravy!
I think my daughter will probably sleep through her first Christmas dinner! As many others have said when she is older I don't envisage adapting it.
I have grand plans about my daughter not eating sweets or chocolate until she is much older, but we will see how that lasts when reality kicks in!
Ds aged 17 months ate anything - I kept him away from most sweet stuff but being mobile he tracked down all the mince pies and Christmas cake at ILs and scoffed loads. Sadly he became a hugely fussy eater shortly after that so last 2 years he's had Yorkshire puddings for Christmas dinner.
I put no more candy in the stockings than I'm happy for the kids to eat at once - about half a packet of chocolate coins or similar - most went in the morning but they do save some. We only bring out the boxes of chocolates after the kids are in bed! We tend to have dinner, then a walk, then pudding, and a mince pie or cake later, so it's not like there's huge amounts of sweet temptation all the time for the children.
This year we have no kitchen but as ds just wants Yorkshires and dd will eat lots of any meat and not care what it is, we're having a simple meal with lots of pre-prepared bits. Toddler dd will have hers cut up more. We tend to have dinner, then a walk, then pudding, and a mince pie or cake later, so it's not like there's huge amounts of sweet temptation all the time for the children - running in the park means there's no reason to restrict their food.
My 15 mo will be having the same Christmas dinner as us. Including trifle for dessert. It will be messy but she will enjoy it. She has been eating pretty much the same as us since she was 6mo as we did BLW.
We've even allowed her a chocolate advent calander (brought by Grandparents). Actually if a baby food manufacturer had done a toddler advent we would have got one (think mini star shaped treats like the Organix gingerbread men which she devours). She isn't keen on the white chocolate one but likes breaking the foil and fishing out the treat. It normally gets sucked and discarded though.
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