From the time school gets out for Christmas break until school starts back up is basically no man’s land. Every parent understands this crazy cluster of days is a weird existence where time doesn’t make sense, the days blur together and usually most of the kids are somewhat sick. Usually the kids can hold off on most of their illnesses until after Santa comes, but not always.
Well we are still finishing up these blurry days filled with left over Christmas treats, new toys scattered around the house and bottles of kids meds and vapor rub sitting out on kitchen and bathroom counters. Just crossing off days until school is back in session with hopes that everyone will be feeling well enough to stuff a few cough drops in their pockets and shuffle on back to school.
Sometimes during these breaks families with special needs members see regression in different ways. Some see regression in what their kid will eat, or sleep becomes hard to find again, or some special needs family members become aggressive because their routines have been tossed out the window and they don’t get to check off their regular daily schedules.
Sure, parents can keep bedtime routines and can try to fill this extra time with preferred activities. But these special friends aren’t seeing their daily people and things can feel frustrating for everyone.
We’ve seen food preferences take over in the past, our family has seen Mr. L get up even earlier just because staying in bed doesn’t make sense- even if he has no where in particular to go, and I’m sure when he was really little, we probably saw him get more grumpy because his groove had been thrown off by Christmas break.
I’m happy to report this year though that we haven’t seen anything terrible. Sure Mr. L’s little sister has got on his nerves a bit- but she’s 4 and was also adjusting to sharing more mom time with her siblings. But honestly we actually had improvement over this winter break.
Right before winter break my husband and I sat down with our kids and had a lesson on healthy vs not healthy foods. I had printed pictures of many of the foods my kids eat along with super healthy foods and some fun not healthy foods. We then made a chart from left to right not healthy/kinda healthy- kinda not/ to very healthy food.
My husband and I then laid the food pics out and had the kids guess where the foods went. It was very eye opening for them because they thought that most of their preferred foods were “healthy” when in fact they were more in the middle and some were even not healthy at all, like fun kids yogurts that are packed full of sugars and food coloring.
Then as a family we talked about finding balance in what we eat and how much fruits, vegetables, and proteins should also be on our plates- not just carbs.
So this is where Mr. L’s growth grew over winter break… This kiddo let me put more then just a few bites of preferred fruits on his plate. Mr. L let me put bites of veggies, quinoa, and shredded chicken among other new healthy foods on his plate and he ate them without fighting me! He did want me to label what he was being served each time- where was the veggie and what was the protein. But holy cow! The growth was unprecedented!
No one had seen this kiddo be so open to new foods, let alone eat them without fight or quibble. So I guess we could say, our Christmas break was a bit stressful, a bit relaxing, and had a good share of healthy growth. But I think the kids were happy to get back to their usual routines.