The holiday is a time when many indulge in treats that are loaded with sugar, sugar, and more sugar. From home baked to store-bought goodies - reining in that 'sweet tooth' can be a challenge for even the salty food lovers.

In our family of four, two of us have a sweet tooth. We are not going to tell you who, you just have to make a wild guess and we'll tell you from now it is not who you think (wink wink). Totally avoiding sugary treats particularly leading up to and during the holidays is not realistic for our household. In an effort to rein in the 'sweet tooth' this and other holidays we follow some practical tips: 

Don't skip meals. Have you noticed that you tend to eat foods that have more calories than you would have when you haven't skipped a meal? Studies show that skipping a meal is likely to make you feel hungrier and reach for something unhealthy.

Have healthy snacks on hand. The holiday is a busy time and making sure that healthy foods are available will help to curve those sugar craves. Especially when the family is out and about on the road together. Take some time the night before to prepare and pack healthy snacks for you and the children.

Eat complex carbs and protein. With each meal consume an adequate amount of complex carbohydrates and protein. This has shown to keep you feeling fuller for longer periods, hence reducing the desire for frequent unhealthy snacking. 

Don't neglect your fruits and veggies. Nature's treats all year through!

Family baking. My children selected some seasonal cookie cutters from the dollar store for us to bake with. Home baked goodies to allow you to control what ingredients and the amount that gets into the bowl (i.e. brown instead of white sugar, whole wheat instead of white flour, etc.). Their aunt surprised them this Christmas with personalized aprons – making them official junior chefs!

Enjoy with tea! There is absolutely no reason to be concerned if once in a while you partake in a sugary treat, particularly the ones you received as a gift over the holidays. Have a serving with a hot cup of herbal tea without any sweetener added.