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With the chance to dress up in costume and stock up on treats, Purim is a favorite holiday for kids of all ages.  But since its also high season for candy and sugary snacks, it can also be frustrating for parents who want their kids (and themselves) to choose healthy foods and limit sweets as part of a balanced nutritious diet.

On the one hand, you want to indulge and enjoy the holiday, after all Purim is one of the few one day holidays where you can visit out of town friends and relatives and hop from party to party.  On the other hand, you don’t want to undermine all the work you do the rest of the year and confuse kids with mixed messages.

Here are some tips and tricks for a happy and healthy Purim.

kid in costume with carrot
  • MAKE IT HEALTHIER: Enjoy the holiday and don’t count calories, but try to limit sweets to the seudah (holiday meal) feast by focusing on one or two extra special desserts that they will really remember.  It doesn't hurt to make these on the healthy side like the Mexican Chocolate Pie originally created for our Fresh Families healthy meal plan.
Healthyish Mexican Chocolate Pie
  • HIDE: Stash away the Shalach Manot with store-bought candies for another time, they will last until you or your kids forget about them or another less crazy time when you can dole them out in small portions.
  • THE GRAPEFRUIT OR MELON TRICK: Remember the old days when people would eat a grapefruit before every meal, you can go with salad or veggies and dip, but the idea is to start your day and every meal with something healthy before indulging, so that you have more space for the good stuff and less for the bad.
  • LOTS OF FRESH FOOD: Stick to fresh fruits and fun vegetables to counterbalance the Hamantashen. Keep veggies and dip and fruit platters around for you and the kids to munch on. 
Crudite with Garlic Ranch Dip
  • GIVE SOMETHING HEALTHY: Think about your Mishloach Manot packages, if you give lots of junk you will have lots of junk left over, use this guide to Healthy Mishloach Manot and unless Hershey is sponsoring your Purim, get creative with some healthful snack options.
healthy granola
  • EAT BEFORE YOU GO: Feed your kids before you go out on Purim night and day so you are not stuck buying junk food at the carnival and eating whatever is in your gift bags as you walk and drive around the neighborhood.   If you and your kids eat a well-balanced meal there will only be so much room left for the treats.

Have a Happy and Healthy Purim!