Healthy Holiday Habits for Your Culturelle® Kids
Dr. Jen Trachtenberg, Pediatrician and children’s health expert, is a paid spokesperson for Culturelle®. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer and do not portray the opinions of the Culturelle® brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.
Holiday time for kids means school vacations, travel and staying up late. It can be a difficult time to maintain familiar routines—particularly health-related ones. Kids thrive on routines, and when their schedules are disrupted around the holidays, it can take a toll on the whole family. Pediatrician and children’s health expert Dr. Jen Trachtenberg° shares her insights into ways parents can manage the holiday demands and help their kids stay healthy, too.
Holiday Health Tips for Kids: Travel Tricks
If you’re like most families, traveling—by plane, train or automobile—is an inescapable aspect of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Because everyone is trying to get to their destinations at the same time, delays are inevitable. Children may tend to have melt-downs or tantrums due to boredom, overtiredness and hunger. They may even react negatively if they see you becoming frustrated and overwhelmed. Here are a few tips when traveling with kids:
- If possible, travel a day earlier or later than the masses to avoid delays.
- Travel late at night, when kids can sleep through it and be well rested upon arrival.
- Avoid sleep medicines or antihistamines for kids “just for travel” as these can actually backfire and cause irritability and other unwanted side effects. Instead, in the days leading up to traveling, maintain their regular daily and bedtime routine as much as possible.
- Bring an easily-accessible bag of tricks that contains drinks, water, snacks and some favorite toys. If a child has a security blanket or object, bring that too.
- Make sure kids are dressed comfortably for the trip—they can always change into their holiday formal wear once they arrive.
Holiday Health Tips for Kids: Sensible Eating
Now you’ve made it with the kids to grandma’s house or wherever the festivities may be, where food will be abundant and enticing. Remember, it’s a special occasion—it’s ok to splurge for a day or two. Moderation is key. You don’t want to be so strict that kids rebel and sneak excess treats, or second and third helpings. Not only can they develop negative feelings around food but the excess can cause immediate stomach and intestinal issues like nausea, or occasional digestive upset. If possible, serve them water and avoid soda and other sugary beverages. Often there are snacks and appetizer before the big meals like cut up veggies and dips—this may be an easy way to sneak in some fiber and even fill up the kids a little before dinner to avoid overindulgence. Once dinner is served, instead of saying no to your kids, serve smaller portions of high-carb or rich foods. And because kids need less calories than adults, use smaller plates to keep the plate looking full.
Holiday Health Tips for Kids: Supporting Their Digestive System*
So you’ve tried your best, but still your child is complaining of occasional digestive upset. You are not alone! I hear these complaints even more commonly around the holidays from parents of kids of all ages. Make sure they are drinking enough water, cut back on the sugary foods that can upset their digestive tracts and get them moving and active. In addition, starting a kids probiotic like Culturelle® Kids Chewables will help ease those occasional digestive complaints while supporting a healthy immune system.* Culturelle® Kids contains 100% Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG(LGG®)—the most studied probiotic strain in children.†† Regular use of Culturelle® Kids probiotics helps to safely and naturally restore the balance of good bacteria in their digestive tract to help maintain intestinal balance.*
Have fun and enjoy the holiday season with the kids! Close bonds with family and friends is also an important part of your overall health. Try to plan out as much as possible ahead of time, but even with that knowledge be aware that holiday demands and travel can still bring about surprises and a disruption of routines. Do remember to keep it in perspective, in a few short days your kids will be back home to their daily routines and schedules.