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Managing the Christmas sugar rush

Last weekend we went on a Christmas lights drive with the kids drinking hot chocolate in the back of the car.

It’s an annual tradition and we always stop at the Hamilton Princess to take a look at their gingerbread masterpiece. This year it’s a life-size moongate and it’s so impressive.

It took every ounce of willpower from Belle to neither lick it nor touch it. This is the girl who sees a sign that says “Do Not Touch” and immediately wants to do the opposite. I am going to try leaving a sign on her door that says “Do Not Clean Your Room” and see if the same impulse applies. I will let you know….!

We also paid a visit to the Waterfront tree (entrance opposite Bacardi on Pitts Bay Road). It’s AMAZING. It has a little light show that changes daily. It’s as tall as the buildings and completely spectacular. There are so many other great spots for Christmas lights around the island, but two of our favourites this year were along the road driving into Flatts and also the houses at the bottom of Melville Estate. Can’t imagine the Belco bill is small but THANK YOU for spreading the holiday cheer!

Just in case this hot-chocolate-drinking, Christmas-light-show-watching extravaganza sounds too good to be true, let me reassure you that it ended with a sugar-fuelled wrestling match in the back of the car on the way home. Ah well, it’s was 75 per cent wonderful and 25 per cent an absolutely massive test of patience… sounds about right for parenting in general?!

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the occasional sugar rush, but how do you stop it getting out of hand? I’m quickly learning that if the sugar is in the house, then the kids are going to want it. They don’t sit around craving sugar out of the blue but, if it’s there they will ask repeatedly if they can have it.

I learnt a long time ago that it’s easier to say “we don’t have any” than “you can’t have any” but that’s tricky over the holidays when you’re trying to get ready and stock up the house (especially with Covid keeping us on our toes).

A few weeks ago I gave you two tips for managing your nutrition over Christmas; the first was to “pre-earn” it (make especially healthy choices, do plenty of exercise) and the second was to consistently get your portion sizes right (¼ plate protein, ¼ plate carbs, ½ plate non-starchy vegetables). It’s fairly easy to apply these to kids too without mentioning weight or diets (neither of which is wise and both of which would be depressing). Taking long walks, going on cycle rides, doing “just dance” videos from YouTube… all of those work. And then make sure their diets are packed with healthy protein and fresh non-starchy veg (broccoli, green beans, peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, cucumber, baby tomatoes).

Other than that, you might just have to find some brilliant hiding places. I’ve hidden a tin of Quality Street in the microwave. (I also hid their Christmas gifts in my laundry basket because they are never going in there!!) I’ll let you know more little tips as I come up with them, but feel free to share yours too. Good luck!

Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram

Catherine Burns says the Christmas tree at the Waterfront on Pitts Bay Road is worth a visit (Photograph supplied)

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Published December 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 16, 2020 at 8:51 pm)

Managing the Christmas sugar rush

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