10 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 6:30pm
2. Keep the routine as much as possible. Try not to skip meals. This will only cause you and your children to overeat at the gathering(s). Additionally, keep active as much as possible. If you know your kids will be sitting around playing video games while you are sitting around being a couch potato most of the day, then plan for a family walk in the morning. You get the gist.
3. Be realistic. Face it, everybody is going to overeat somewhat. This is not the time to be counting calories or asking your children to keep track on their food logs. At least don not expect this on the actual holidays themselves or if your kids are spending a few days at grandma and grandpa’s house.
4. Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Go with your kids on a loop or two around the buffet table so you can give a little thought to yours and their food choices before the mouth stuffing begins. Make sure there is a little color on everyone’s plate. Even if your kids do not eat the brussel sprouts, at least it will take the place of an extra spoonful of stuffing. Ask them to choose what they most like, and leave behind the plum pudding if it’s not their favorite.
5. Eat until you are satisfied and not stuffed. Wait 10-15 minutes before going for seconds because it takes your brain that amount of time to feel full. Ask your kids to go play for a while. Before you know it, they will forget all about the extra food left on the table.
6. Keep the focus on fun, not food. This can be easier said than done when the holidays are not in your house. However, it cannot hurt to have a talk with your sister ahead of time to see if she would be willing to plan a fun game (or maybe just leave a box of Twister laying around or you can even bring it). A non-edible project for the kids is also great like decorating ornaments or making matchbox gifts that they can bring home and give to their friends.
7. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering. If you know that Grandma Joyce’s version of the healthy dish on the table is the butter and sugar-laden sweet potatoes, then bring a side of roasted vegetables.
8. It’s okay to say no to food, it’s not rude. Your kids are always feeling pressured to take more when they are at cousin Anne’s house. Prep them ahead of time to tell cousin Anne politely that they love her mashed potatoes, but they want to save room for her pumpkin pie as well.
9. Make your kid the chef for the day. Plan a day when your kid(s) make the menu and invite some close family friends over for dinner. You might wind up eating star-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches with a side of crooked ants on a log, but at least it made your kids feel good to serve and eat a fairly balanced meal that they prepared mostly on their own. (And bonus for you, it kept them busy for a while as well.)
10.Last, but not least, always make sure you are being a good role model. Do not expect your husband and kids to follow your plan if you blow it. You might not want that side of brussel sprouts on your plate either, but if you do not put it there (and at least attempt to eat it too), neither will your kids.
Andrea Berez MS, RD, CSP