Feed Your Children Well Festival Edition

Let the celebrations begin. Christmas conjures up so many powerful images ranging from religious to family gatherings and much is informed by food. Delicious sugary, syrupy food, chocolate galore and cookies. Don’t despair there is a healthy take on this.

IMAGE Gingerbreadmenraw

‘Feeding Children Well – Fostering Positive Relationships with Food’

So how do we, at a time of such fun and giving not end up making the very connection we are trying to avoid, and not send a message that bad food choices are treats?

Image Child looking at cake

There’s no denying the difficulty, however there are some simple steps that can make all the difference.

  • Make healthier food choices but make sure they have all the bells and whistles that cute Festive food has- often it’s more about the decoration than the composition.
  • Accept that there are certain special days that it is a holiday when everything normal goes out of the window and some erring from the norm is really okay.
  • Good food habits are much more about what happens most of the time and limiting the wrong foods.
  • Denying a child something everyone else has will have other ramifications you want to avoid.
  • Here’s a really useful guide to one of the common feeding pitfalls, restricting food.
  • Remember that the most powerful role model is you – what you do matters, it’s not only that you are entirely fascinating but that you set a benchmark.
  • Involve your children in the shopping and creative element of the holiday cooking. Pick recipes together and  make the otherwise manic holiday supermarket dash fun – well what else can you do the lines at checkout mean you’ll need all your creative energy anyway! Back at base get your child however small involved in some way.

That’s why we  love this recipe so much and want to share it with you with much thanks to A Couple Cooks 

Soft Gingerbread Men

A healthier Christmas Cookie



Soft Gingerbread Cookies (Healthy) + Healthy Christmas Cookies

Makes: 25 to 35
What You Need
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • Granular golden sugar (for garnish)
  • Recipe uses american cup measures
What To Do
  1. In a medium bowl, add 1 egg, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup molasses, ¼ cup almond butter, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 tablespoons applesauce; vigorously whisk to thoroughly combine.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons allspice, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 ¼ cup all purpose four, and ½ cup wheat flour to the wet ingredients and stir with a large spoon until well combined. Turn out onto plastic wrap and form into a rough ball; cover with plastic and chill at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Flour a flat surface and a rolling pin, then roll out the dough to around ¼-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out gingerbread men, about 25-35 total. Place gingerbread men on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake for about 8 minutes, until until puffed and slightly firmed. Let rest on the pan for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Store covered at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer term storage.

Gaby Morris

Co Founder and MD Riverside Cares


With thanks to A Couple Cooks for all images