Healthful Holiday Eating
It’s that time of year again, where holiday parties and social gatherings revolve around food. This can definitely present a challenge when it comes to eating healthy. The key to success is making sure you have a variety of healthy food selections available. This will not only benefit you, but your family, friends and co-workers. You do not have to sacrifice your favorite side dish or dessert; you just have to make a plan.
If you are attending a social gathering, here are some helpful tips to keep you on track:
- Eat a healthy snack before leaving the house. This can definitely reduce the risk of overeating at the party.
- Healthy tip: make a small tossed salad with light dressing, fresh fruit with reduced fat cheese or a broth based soup with whole grain crackers.
- Make a plan. Scan the buffet before filling up your plate. Then decide what and how much you will eat.
- Healthy tip: Try using the “plate method” when serving yourself. The plate method is picturing the plate divided into four equal sections. One section is your starch source: mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, etc. The second section is a lean protein source: turkey, ham or roast. The next two sections can be one big serving of vegetables: green bean casserole, carrots, etc. OR one section is filled with vegetables and the other section is filled with fruit/dessert. This way your plate has a little bit of everything.
- Contribute. Make a healthy dish that you can add to the holiday buffet.
- Healthy tip: You can make a healthier version of your favorite dessert, side dish or salad.
- Savor the flavors. Eating slowly reduces your chances of eating too much.
- Healthy tip: Remember that it takes about 15-20 minutes for your brain and stomach to send the signal that you are full. An excess amount of calories can be consumed during this time.
- Drink plenty of low calorie/no calorie beverages. This includes water, but many
other flavorful options. You can drink Crystal Light, Propel, iced tea or
lemonade sweetened with a sugar substitute, diet sodas and some flavored
- Healthy tip: Low calorie beverages are 25 calories or less per serving. One cup of eggnog can contain approximately 350 calories!
- Trim the fat off your meat or poultry. You can save a lot of calories by trimming the visible fat on your protein sources:100+ calories per tablespoon of fat!
- Healthy tip: By choosing white meat poultry or round or loin for meats also saves calories.
If you are hosting a holiday party, here are some healthy ideas for you and your guests.
- Make sure to offer a variety of low fat, high fiber foods.
- Healthy tip: Fresh fruit /vegetable trays & nuts. Choose whole grain crackers and bread to increase fiber.
- Serve healthier alternatives to the traditional holiday dishes.
- Healthy tip: You can make a high fat recipe healthier, just by choosing a 1% or less dairy product, instead of heavy cream or whole milk. You can also use less oil, butter & mayonnaise that a recipe calls for.
- Have fun. Have games that are both fun and active that you, your family and friends can be involved in.
- Healthy tip: Whether it be a game of touch football or a light walk after dinner, any of these activities can be enjoyable for everyone.
Tip: Remember that weight maintenance, not weight loss, is a good goal during the holidays!
Helpful GFCF Articles
- Ditch The Chemicals Start The Year Off Healthy
- Holidays: A Time for Family and a Time for Food
- Where to Purchase Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) Foods and Some Favorite Brands
- Finding GFCF Baked Goods While You are Traveling
- GFCF Holiday Recipes and Hints on Eating Outside of the Home
- Getting Ready for Summer Fun: Being GFCF & Other Healthy Ideas
- Fall Means Pumpkin GFCF Recipes to Enjoy this Cozy Autumn Season
- GFCF/Chemical Free Holiday Breakfast or Brunch
- GFCF Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Preparing Ahead Before You Make GFCF Recipes
- Staying Healthy Where And What Should We Eat?
- Traveling with Special Dietary Need
- Eating out While on a Special Diet
- Gift Ideas for Those on Special Diets
- Ways to Advocate for Yourself While on a Special Diet