5 Strategies for Healthy Holiday Eating

By: Mollie Shauger | Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | Healthy Living

A family prepares holiday dinner with a variety of vegetables. Credit: iStock

Between big family meals, parties, and sweet treats everywhere, it’s easy to overindulge during the holidays. Here are some tips to be more mindful of what you’re eating during the holiday season.

1. Fill up on fruits and veggies

Not only will seasonal fruits and vegetables add color and variety to your plate, they are packed with vital nutrients for your body and mind. A medium pear, for example, provides more than 20 percent of the recommended amount of fiber and 10 percent of the daily value for Vitamin C. And since fruits and veggies are loaded with water and fiber, they can also help you stay fuller longer.

Try: Doubling your vegetable dishes at the holiday table for more exciting options.

2. Stay hydrated

The holidays can be a stressful time, and stress can lead to dehydration, which can negatively impact your mood and concentration, experts tell Shape Magazine. Water can also help keep you full so you’re less likely to overeat. 

Try: Drinking 16 ounces of room temperature water 10-15 minutes before eating so you’re less likely to go for that second piece of pie.

3. Serve healthy snacks

Keep your kids and guests happy by serving fun and healthy snacks and appetizers that won’t ruin mealtimes. Snacks are also another way to work in fruits and vegetables to the day. 

Try: This recipe for healthy Pumpkin Pie Dip from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

4. Practice mindful eating

Mindful eating can help you fully enjoy a meal and empower you to make healthier choices about what you’re eating, experts say. Don’t feel rushed to finish what’s on your plate. Holiday meals are a great opportunity to eat slowly and enjoy the experience.

Try: Before you start to eatgive thanks to the labor that went into providing your meal — the farmers, the factory workers, the animals, mother Earth, the chefs, or even your companions at the table.

5. Move around

Build in activities for exercise, even if it’s just taking a walk. Not only can staying active burn calories from a big meal, it can also support digestion and lower blood sugar spikes. 

Try: Instead of heading for the couch, go outside and enjoy some fresh air. Walking is an activity the whole family can enjoy, including the dog, the American Heart Association says

Contact your local YMCA branch to learn more about wellness programs that can help you stay healthy during the holidays.


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