November 29, 2018

6 Dietitian Tips For Holiday Cheer

By Margaret Gall

Ah, the month of Decemberpacked with so much ~ holiday gatherings, winter break for students, and often, family vacations!  I have been reflecting on how I could take a break from some of the December hustle and bustle. Here are a few suggestions on handling the holidays, albeit, from a dietitian’s perspective.

1. Host a less traditional sit-down dinner event.
How about a progressive dinner theme? With this theme, guests progress from home to home, enjoying a specific course at a different host’s house. The first home could host appetizers, second home soup and salad, third home main entrée, and last home dessert!  Progressives are interactive, can be creative and lessen the stress of being the sole host of the dinner!

2. Try something new!
If hosting a celebration or bringing a dish to the holiday gathering, try a new healthier recipe or swap out an ingredient! Check out these resources for healthy recipe ideas and recipe substitutions:

Be sure to check out the DAHLC December culinary offerings for more holiday recipe ideas and classes – including a hands on cooking class!

3. Attend a community cookie exchange.
f a multitude of holiday sweet treats are a must each year, this is a great way to share and experience new goodies! Can’t find one in your area?  Host an exchange with friends and family. Spread the work load while enjoying other’s company.

4. Find a grocery delivery service.
Did you know you can do your grocery shopping online? No need to find a parking spot or dodge the crowds and shopping cars, and no more waiting in long lines at checkout.  Not only can this save time, but also lessens those impulsive purchases particularly while waiting to checkout.

5. Be mindful!

Try these  ideas to be a more mindful eater at your  holiday gathering:

  • Choose one or two special treats - limit “everyday/ordinary” treats that you can get all year.
  • Use a smaller plate or bowl and don’t feel obligated to clean your plate
  • Put distance between you and the food- socialize away from the serving table.
  • Eat slowly and savor each bite.  Try eating with your non-dominant hand to slow down, and really notice what is being eaten.
  • Focus attention on the people; appreciating family, friends, and conversation which is calorie-free (unlike the treats!).6. Create non-food traditions centered on gratitude.

    Volunteer at a shelter, organize a toy or clothing drive, visit a nursing home or assisted living facility to share the gift of time by singing a song, reading a book, or simply enjoying the company of new friends.

 Here’s to Eating Well this December and into the New Year! Cheers!

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