Healthy Holiday Eating for the Whole Family

It is that time of year again, with countless parties and gatherings for the whole family.  While these festivities can undoubtedly be fun, they also provide endless opportunities to derail the healthy eating habits you have worked so hard to instill. While healthy and holidays are two words that aren’t typically synonymous, there are a few ways you can maintain healthy holiday eating for the whole family.

Make healthier versions of old family favourites: Try swapping ingredients to reduce the fat, calories, sugar content, and cholesterol of some of your old family recipes.

Get plenty of sleep: This goes for everybody in the house.  Studies have found that lack of sleep can increase binge eating, and being around all that holiday food provides plenty of temptation.  Getting plenty of rest can also keep you healthy during cold and flu season.

Stay hydrated: We often confuse hunger and thirst cues which can lead to overeating.   Reaching for water instead of caloric beverages can also reduce overall caloric intake, while staying hydrated helps improve overall health, keeps your skin healthy, and flushes out toxins.

Make your own dish: At least you can be sure one dish at the party is healthy so offer to bring a salad or vegetable side dish that you can fill up on that before you hit the buffet.  This is also helpful if you or your child suffers from food allergies.

Make requests: Ask family and friends to bypass the treat related gifts like cookies and candy for non-edible ones instead.

Ration treats:  This may be your child’s first lesson in moderation, but a good one nonetheless.  If there are lots of treats around the house pack some away and explain to your child dessert is not an everyday thing.

Stay active: Keep those bodies moving as this helps your immune system and can make up for a little overindulgence.  Try making physical activity a family tradition like a walk after dinner, a dance party in the living room, or a family game of flag football.  Kids need to be active every day, and so do their parents.

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