It’s holiday time, and no matter how hard you try to keep your kids eating habits healthy and balanced, sometimes it’s not that easy (and sometimes it’s hijacked by Aunt Mary – thanks but no thanks for the candy…). We all want to have fun, enjoy the holidays, and indulge a little, but we don’t want to set a bad example or get into habits that don’t work for us.

1. Family Exercise It’s obvious, but if you keep active, you’ll set a great example for your kids. Take a walk as a family to visit local Christmas lights. If you live near an ice-rink, wrap up warm and enjoy some ice-skating. Use the Christmas tree flashing lights and some music to have a home-disco. No snow? Ball up white socks and make your own snowball fight. Exercise should be fun, not a chore!

2. Set a Healthy Example The same goes for food. Model the behavior you want them to adopt. Slice some fruit to eat with your breakfast and make sure you serve veggies at every meal. Try Ollie’s fruity cereal recipe for family breakfast.

3. Nutritious Alternatives Baking at Christmas is a tradition of ours, but we seek out low-sugar versions of old favorites. Check out the muffins and cookies on Ollie Club. Messy fun, but healthy too, and a good way of sneaking fruit and veggies into your picky eaters.

4. Involve the Kids It’s not just about cooking – they can lay tables, make place cards, write menus. They’ll be excited to come to the table.

5. Non-food Rewards Don’t use food as a reward. Start a Christmassy sticker chart instead.

That’s easy to say, but sometimes it seems the whole holiday revolves around food! Try these games and activities to keep you busy and ensure you make magical memories with your families.

1. We love story time before bed. Use it as a chance to read Christmas, Hanukkah or festive tales to your children.

2. Use shaving cream as fake snow – let them have messy fun and get involved. If it’s not too cold, you can play outside – otherwise put a towel down to protect your carpet.

3. Use cotton balls and colored paper to make a snowman card. Googly eyes bring them to life. Another idea is to draw a twirling black line, then use fingerprints in colored paint to create an artistic string of lights – great for Christmas cards for relatives. If you have leftovers, they are also good as thank you cards.

4. Relatives’ houses can be boring for young kids unless there is a stash of toys to investigate. Keep a bag in the boot of the car with coloring pencils, sticker books, and small games like dominos or cards that you can use to entertain the kids. Also useful for restaurant trips – we have one permanently stashed in the car!

We can’t wait to hear how you’ve celebrated – tag us in your Instagram pictures (@OllieClub), and have fun!

Messy fun, Sheena xx