It’s the week before Christmas. Are you still stuffing family stockings? Many of us are. If you want some healthy alternatives to candy, read on. Dietitian Tara Harwood offers three alternatives to sweet, unhealthy stocking stuffers:
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1. Consider fruit, chocolate and nuts
Try something as simple as pairing your child’s favorite fruit – an orange, pear or apple – with a bar of dark chocolate. For full heart-healthy benefits, be sure the chocolate is 60 to 70 percent cocoa. Other ideas include: dried fruit, granola bars and nuts or trail-mix.
Consider a jump rope, juggling kit, mini-football or even a pedometer.
2. Get kids moving
Gifts that get kids’ hearts pumping are always a hit. Consider a jump rope, juggling kit, mini-football or even a pedometer so they can have fun tracking how far they walk. You can also find many workout DVDs for kids, (even yoga videos) or kids’ music CDs that you can dance to together.
3. ‘Bribe’ kids to make healthy choices
OK, it’s not exactly bribery but you can pay kids “healthy bucks.” Reward them with a “healthy buck” dollar each time they make a healthy food or activity choice. Soon they’ll be rich in healthier habits and you can buy them a gift when they build up a bank of “healthy bucks.”