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5 Healthy Holiday Traditions That Don't Require Sugar

We all know that sugar, cookies, chocolate, and pastries are a part of the holidays–and an important part for some of us.

I like to think of creative ways to integrate healthy traditions to support my family's health during times, like the holidays, when we do eat more sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead of having a controlling mindset and creating a “we can’t have this mindset,” which usually encourages wanting more of it, I like to think, "What can we do as a family to create healthy holiday traditions?" (Because sugar will inevitably be involved).

Here are five things we do in our house that are truly captivating for Ollie!

1. Wooden Toy Advent Calendar

This is an absolute must. It comes with a storybook and Ollie absolutely loves it! I love how advent calendars teach children patience. This one is absolutely incredible and reusable year after year!

2. Elf of the Shelf or Mensch on a Bench Storytime Toys

Hands down an incredible investment. Ollie loves interactive reading--when we play with toys as we read, it really engages his whole brain and body. He will sit and play with these storybook series for 30 minutes at a time, repeating the story he heard in the book or making up his own adventure. A beautiful, thoughtful gift, too!

3. Plaid/Flannel/Holiday Outfits

4. Salt dough ornaments and handprints

We do this every year for the grandparents and we make a handprint ornament for the tree. We have one from each year to see how his hand has grown. Super fun and can be one of those no-school-over-the-holiday-what-do-I do-now activities.

5. Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup salt

1 cup cold water

Mix in a bowl, knead for 10 minutes and let rest for 20 minutes. Roll out to 1/4" thickness. Use cookie cutters for shapes or press handprints into the dough for lasting memories. Poke holes with a straw on top to tie the ornament string through for holiday tree decor. Bake at 150-200 F for 30-60 minutes, until you see it dry.

Shop small and local when possible.

Photo Genuine Joy Photography

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