Tips for healthy school holidays

How to have a healthy balance these holidays

Treat foods are part of the fun of school holidays, but the requests for “sometimes foods” can seem almost endless. Dietitian, Melissa Holloway tells us how, with a little bit of planning, you can find a healthy balance over the holidays that works for the whole family.

1. Plan ahead

When grocery shopping, try to avoid or limit buying items that you know might be a challenge when you get home (even for yourself). Set aside some of the treat foods and only bring them out when the occasion calls for it. Out of sight, out of mind!

Stock up on some healthy prepared meals in the fridge or freezer. This means there is always something healthy and convenient to eat when you’re all out of energy to cook. And avoid reaching for unhealthy takeaways. You’ll not only stay on track with your goals but also be able to spend more time with friends and family and out of the kitchen.


2. Save treats for special occasions

Treats can absolutely be part of the fun of school holidays but if it’s all day, every day it no longer feels special. Tying fun foods like ice-cream, popcorn or lollies to events like going to the beach or watching a movie may help to limit requests for those foods at other times.


3. Make food fun by making it together

It can be easier said than done but with a little planning and patience, allowing kids to take charge in the kitchen is great activity to keep them occupied. It also helps them to build on their knowledge of food.  You might even convince them to become acquainted with a new vegetable!

Keep it simple to avoid the chaos. Think fruit and yoghurt smoothies, rainbow fruit kebabs, veggie sticks, homemade pizzas or tacos.

Now that it’s getting warmer, get adventurous with ice block moulds. Have your kids create their own flavours using ingredients like fresh juice, fruit pieces and yoghurt.


Here are some healthy treats you can get the kids involved with:

  • Sweet drinks made with diluted fruit juice and pieces of fresh or frozen fruit, cucumber slices and even fresh herbs for the adventurous kids. A soda stream is fun here!
  • Make your own soft serve “nice” cream using frozen bananas and berries thrown into a blender.
  • Fruit kebabs with yoghurt dip.
  • Build your own dessert bar. Use yoghurt, nuts, fruit, and some chocolate chips for a bit of fun.
  • Homemade pizzas – this is a great way to help make veggies more approachable, just use pita breads as a base and let the kids creative with their own toppings.


4. Get out and move

Try and get outside as much a possible with the kids. Adding activities into your holidays is a good way to get some exercise into your day and spend time together as a family. Try to keep up with physical activity with the kids and limit screen time to avoid kids staying sedentary for too long. School holidays are a great time to teach your children all about staying active and keeping healthy.


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Melissa Holloway is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with extensive experience across a range of industries including aged care, elite sport and in hospitals. She is passionate about ensuring people have access to not only fresh and healthy food options but also that people get to choose food that they truly enjoy. As a mum, Melissa loves preparing healthy and delicious food for her family.