Holiday carols are on the radio and an old popular one is (There’s No place Like) Home for the Holidays! When I travel home to see family and friends, it is a chance to reunite and enjoy family traditions including holiday dishes - several which would not be considered “healthy!” The favorite family dishes along with tempting treats can lead one to overindulge. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can add to the stress in everyday life and lead to less than desirable eating habits. Here are some eating tips to put the “healthy” back into the holidays and it begins with a PLAN:
- P: Focus on the Plate method for meal planning – At the holiday celebration plan ahead to choose more fruits and vegetables. Fill half your plate with these foods and eat them first. Choose a smaller plate such as a salad plate to help with portion control. Research has shown that the more food we are served the more we eat.
- L: Lighten up holiday recipes - Try a new healthier recipe, change an ingredient, and if hosting a celebration, serve healthier foods on the menu. For healthy recipe ideas and recipe substitutions check out these web sites:
- A: Appreciate family, friends, and memories - Appreciate those you are with, focus less on the food and more on the conversation which is calorie-free!
- N: Nutrition basics: Balance, Variety, Moderation – Balance calories for weight management by enjoying the food but eat less particularly with the many calorie laden holiday options. Make a healthy plate eating a variety of foods - vary choices within each food group to get an array of nutrients. Check out http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet1ChooseMyPlate.pdf for tips to a healthy plate. Practice moderation with portions – YOU can choose to consume a little or a lot –enjoy the holiday treats but consume smaller portions, use a smaller plate and dish up appetizer-sized helping of each food.
Also, PLAN to attend a DAHLC culinary/nutrition offering for holiday entertaining ideas:
Fit and Flavorful: Holiday Appetizers – Dec. 3 at Noon, Dec. 10 at 11 am
Creative Techniques: Yeast Breads – Dec. 4 at 11 am, Stir-Frying – Dec. 17 at Noon
Eat Well this Holiday Season!
Margaret Gall, RDN, LD (DAHLC Dietitian)