Four Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

by Holly M. Bresnahan, RD, LDN, Registered Dietician for SMAA Nutrition Programs

The holidays are a wonderful season for friends, family, fun, and food! So many holiday treats and food that it can be overwhelming. Try to take it easy this year and enjoy the season without over indulging. Your waistline will thank you.

1. Use a Small Plate

It will help limit the amount of food you can put on your plate but will trick your mind into thinking that you’re eating the full amount. Sample multiple dishes, by choosing small portions of 3-4 items you really want to eat. This will prevent over indulging but not deprive you of your favorite once a year foods.

2. Always Remember Moderation

Don’t forget the drinks. Try and break up calorie laden drinks (egg nog, cider, and cocktails) by alternating with a glass of water or sparkling water between each beverage. It will help keep you hydrated and fill the stomach to limit room for excess food later.

3. Watch out for Salt

Some of our favorite holiday foods can be packed with sodium. If you are preparing the holiday meal, check labels and choose the lower sodium version. Foods to watch for are breads and rolls, poultry and canned soups which are often found in casseroles. Flavor meals with herbs and spices vs salt or butter. Also, make sure to drain and rinse canned beans or vegetables to remove the excess sodium. Remember to go easy on the gravy! Although it tastes great, gravy is a source of extra sodium and fat. Try to limit the amount to 1-2 tablespoons.

4. Save Room for Dessert

Instead of saying “there’s always room for dessert”, actually leave room for it! Try to cut back on other parts of the meal such as appetizers, bread or pasta (or that second helping). And lastly enjoy!! May your holiday season be filled with family, friends and good times. Happy Holidays and best wishes in the New Year!

And finally, if your New Year's resolution if to get more active, check out our upcoming Agewell classes to help you gain strength, improve your balance, and increase your stamina.