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Kids' Cookies and Milk: The Healthy Edition

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Guest blogger Cristin Dillon-Jones: Kids should enjoy the special treats that come with the holidays but for good reason (their health & your sanity) treats should be incorporated into a balanced diet. Here are a few tips to help prevent your kids from riding the sugar rollercoaster this holiday season.

kids eating cookies and drinking milk

Explain what treats are: Children may not understand the difference between healthy food and treats. Explain to them that healthy foods like grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy and meat help them grow big and strong whereas treats do not.

Offer treats with milk, yogurt or fruit: Adding a protein or fiber rich food to treat time will help the child to fill up -- and it will also slow the digestion of the treat. The sugar in the treat will not be released as quickly, so you will avoid a sugar high then sugar low child (this is the sugar rollercoaster).

Practice portion control: Children have smaller stomachs than adults do and they fill up quickly. Keep treat portions small so that children do not satiate themselves and refuse other healthy foods. Offer treats only after a reasonable amount of the preceding meal has been consumed.

Don't serve treats at all hours: There is no place for treats at breakfast because it gets a kid's day started on the wrong foot (the sugar high). Offer treats later in the day so that the child has had a couple of meals in them and has met most of their nutrient requirements for that day.

Bake treats together: Baking can be a great learning experience for children so try to include them when possible. Take them to the store to buy the ingredients then allow them to measure, stir and pour in the kitchen. Encourage the child to share the finished treat with others, it'll boost their confidence and leave less around to be consumed by them and you!

Visit registered dietician Cristin Dillon-Jones' blog at

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kirstie December 24, 2008, 12:02 PM

You know, it’s a scientific fact that the idea of a “sugar high” is a myth. Treats in moderation, yeah, because they’re not healthy .. but they don’t make your kids any more hyper! Chocolate might because there is natural caffeine in chocolate, but sugar’s not the culprit here - not even in children who are diagnosed with ADHD.

Laura December 26, 2008, 4:10 PM

I really appreciate this article, it has some practical advice.

And even after reading the BMJ article suggested the above, I have a hard time believing it. I know that sugar has an effect on me.

Sarah December 31, 2008, 4:21 AM

The sugar high and low is real. Believe me, I was insulin resistant but am healthy now. I check my blood sugar because it helps me stay on track. My body isn’t used to “quick carbs” and that’s what Cristin means by sugar…not necessarily that you’re sucking on pixie sticks. Beer, for example, does the same thing. On Christmas morning I splurged on cookies and other treats without fruit or my usual high fiber cereal and my body, which is used to about 85-90 on my glucose monitor hit the 120’s and the fall was not pretty. I was so tired I went back to bed!

heather May 19, 2009, 4:32 PM

Here is the yummiest and easiest cookie recipe. We sometimes make them into a breakfast cookie!

forex robot July 30, 2010, 9:30 AM

nice post. thanks.

asik aja January 27, 2011, 8:40 AM

yes i knew what i did

slimming February 26, 2011, 3:13 PM

Very informative and helpful post. You have good command on the topic and have explained in a very nice way. Thanks for sharing.

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