With all the emphasis on legal bans of fast food meals and toys in the news lately, I think that real kids are getting left behind. I see too many articles like this that are invested in politically attacking one fast food provider (I guess because it's "popular" - just like slagging on WalMart is an "evergreen" in some circles) while failing to spread real nutrition and sustainability news. The bottom line is, McDonalds and WalMart aren't going away any time soon, and worrying about them isn't going to give your kids nutritious, fun holiday treats and times.
As Meredith is leaving home very soon, I have some advice for younger parents: your little ones are only little once. The time you spend with them shouldn't just be invested in making sure they are eating right, exercising enough, and are learning the difference between right and wrong. Being with kids is a lot of fun, and you can do fun things with them that will build great memories for both of you. As to food, boys and girls like playing with food, whether or not they are interested in cooking. Recipes that let kids assemble, decorate and create from healthy, sustainable foods are fun for a broad range of ages.
I guess what we'd call the "creative parent/kid food industry" is undergoing a real renaissance. Gone are the rice cereal snacks and balls of sugar and fat of years ago. You can find the most fun and nutritious snacks and treats in magazines like Disney FamilyFun.
Frosty the Cheeseball can use low fat, low sodium natural soft cheese, which you can flavor with any number of natural ingredients. You can tell his scarf is a thin sliver of carrot, his arms are pretzel pieces, and his hat is two different kinds of crackers - rice crackers would be so easy and cute. Frosty sees and smiles thanks to raisins. How cute and fun is that? The same magazine has holiday ornaments and appetizers using the decorating and nutrition powers of light cream cheese (could substitute yogurt or vegan cheese) and diced colored bell peppers, which now come in green, red, and yellow. When you see this type of magazine in the store, check out the recipes/projects and if the majority are nutrition and sustainability conscious, buy it!