Healthy Stocking Stuffers

It's the week before Christmas and while all of the big ticket items may already be wrapped, you may be making a run on stocking stuffers over the next several days.

Dieticians say stockings are typically filled with things that are bad for your child's diet.

"so, maybe you should start to think about other things you can put in the stocking, like maybe some fresh fruit, like a fresh orange. Or maybe a jump rope or something that will get your child active after the holidays," Tara Harwood, RD.

Candy canes and chocolate are stocking stuffer staples, but Harwood suggests replacing them with some packages of dried fruit. Granola or trail-mix works, too.

She says things to increase their activity level are always a hit. You can also replace fast food gift certificates with, what she calls, "healthy bucks."

Harwood suggests creating a list of prizes they can earn by building up their "healthy bucks" each time they make a healthy food or activity choice.

"And what they can do is the kids can work up to those little things by making healthy decisions after the holidays and in the New Year. So, every time your child tries to be active, even on a cold day, go ahead and reward them with a healthy buck dollar. And every time they earn a healthy buck dollar they're earning their way to getting the prize on their wish list."

If you are going to stuff your stockings with chocolate, Harwood says to give dark chocolate made up of 60-70% cocoa, which provides heart healthy benefits.

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